Industry Perspectives on the 40-hour Work Week as it Relates to Overtime in the Pacific Northwest

John S. Korsmo III, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


The construction industry has a stigma for construction projects often being behind schedule, delayed, or delivered late. Many projects that find themselves in this predicament will utilize overtime to make up for the loss in schedule. However, a number of published studies shows evidence that extended overtime produces a decrease in labor productivity. Does the structure of the 40-hour work week have an affect on this loss of production with overtime? This paper will examine the structure of the 40-hour work week with an emphasis on a 4-day, 10-hour day schedule as well as overtime productivity. This study explores the perspectives of industry professionals, working in commercial construction in the Northwest, on the 40-hour workweek structure and overtime. A survey was created to analyze what the industry believes to be the best structure of the 40-hour work week with regards to working overtime. As a result of the survey, 50% of industry professionals considered a five 8-hour days workweek structure is the most productive schedule, while the other 44% of industry professionals considered a 4 10-hour days workweek structure to be more productive.