Here's a nineteenth-century perspective on fair labor standards.

It's a sentiment honored in the breach in the contemporary positional arms race called outworking the competition, but that positional arms race is a costly coordination failure.  (Via Economics Education.)
Research shows that consistently working more than 40 hours a week is simply unproductive.

For many in the entrepreneurship game, long hours are a badge of honor. Starting a business is tough, so all those late nights show how determined, hard working and serious about making your business work you are, right?

Wrong. According to a handful of studies, consistently clocking over 40 hours a week just makes you unproductive (and very, very tired).
The article is well-researched, and one of its sources suggests that business interests saw a gain in limiting the work week, all that talk from the labor unions about "fighting" for the weekend notwithstanding.  And it's time, that source suggests, for people to recognize the diminishing returns to long hours. "[T]he single easiest, fastest thing your company can do to boost its output and profits — starting right now, today — is to get everybody off the 55-hour-a-week treadmill, and back onto a 40-hour footing."

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