The Upside of 40-Hour Workweeks
While the potential positives of a 40-hour workweek aren't quite as scientific as the drawbacks, they do exist.
The sweet spot for hours often boils down to the person and the job in question. The daily productivity of an artist or athlete, for instance, might diminish after just a few hours of concentrated work. But for a truck driver or factory worker, more hours might have a direct correlation to greater productivity.
"People push themselves to the point where they will have problems," K. Anders Ericsson, the co-author of "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise," told Healthline. However, "if you have somebody who loves what they are doing, would you want to limit that person?" he added.
On the subject of longer workweeks, the idea of overtime hours inevitably comes into play — and they might actually have some economic benefits.
In a 2015 column of the Monthly Labor Review, the Bureau of Labor Statistics writes: "Many firms view overtime as a useful means of dealing with unanticipated economic events, including fluctuations in product demand and in rates of absenteeism, as well as breakdowns in production or the organizational workflow. Overtime work designed to accommodate unforeseen, usually short-term events is likely to remain a permanent feature of the labor market scene."