III. COMPRESSION OF THE WORKING DAY
The earliest of the innovations in the pattern of working hours is the replacement of the two-part day, with employees going home between morning and afternoon work, by a work day with only short breaks, including one for lunch. Although this has meant a departure from social and family custom and eating habits, the travel and fatigue involved in a double journey to and from work each day has become too great for any other solution in modern conditions.1
A typical example would be a work day beginning at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., with a short break in the middle of the day for a light meal at or near the workplace. The main meal is taken after work, whenever most convenient in relation to other spare-time activities.2
The system was adopted earlier and is most widespread in the English-speaking and Scandinavian countries, but is also gaining ground elsewhere.
It is interesting to note that the idea dates back to the beginning of the industrial age. Panckouke, writing in 1780 on "How to increase the happiness of part of the nation without harming anybody" proposed that all business should be conducted between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. with only a substantial breakfast at about 11 a.m.3
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