While legislation to set a standard “8 hour workday” was good to prevent workers from being exploited to have to work 14+ hour workdays, if also seems to have been a huge detriment, making it the standard to work at least 8 hours a day (not less).
One size should not fit all.
The 8 hour workday as a Procrustean bed.
Now the problem:
Because the 8 hour workday was instituted, it becomes the new expectation that we should work AT LEAST 8 hours everyday.
And based from my friends and my personal experience, nobody in a salary job works 8 or fewer hours a day. They generally work 9-12 hours a day.
The 4 hour workweek
As much criticism as Tim Ferriss gets, I think his basic notion of the 4 hour workweek is on the money:
Don’t live according to normal societal standards.