On the corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets in Melbourne is a monument to the 8 Hour Day. This represents a social structure of work that equates to
- Eight hours of work,
- Eight hours of recreation,
- Eight hours of sleep,
The concept started in Australia in the mid-1800s and was intended to reduce exploitation and abuse of workers, many of whom were children.
The intent was to establish, what we would now call, a work/life balance structure with the recognition that work is required to earn a living, sleep is required to rejuvenate the body, preparing it for work, and recreation was social time, time with one’s family, exercise, all sorts of personal and social activities.
Today that structure is an “ideal” rather than a reality.