Understanding The Workday – How Many Hours Are in an 8 AM to 5 PM Shift

8am to 5pm is how many hours


The concept of an 8 AM to 5 PM workday is deeply ingrained in our society, but have you ever stopped to wonder exactly how many hours it comprises? While it might seem straightforward, the calculation involves a bit more than meets the eye. In this article, we will explore the definition of a typical workday, its history, and the number of hours it encompasses.

The Traditional Workday

The traditional workday, often referred to as a “9-to-5” schedule, is a standard working period for many employees. It typically starts at 8 AM and ends at 5 PM. However, the actual number of hours worked within this time frame is not precisely nine hours.

Understanding the Breaks

In most workplaces, employees are entitled to breaks throughout the day. While the specifics can vary, a common arrangement is a 30-minute lunch break and two 15-minute breaks. These breaks are subtracted from the total hours worked, which means they are not counted as part of the “active” work hours. This means that the total number of hours worked during an 8 AM to 5 PM shift is typically around 8 hours and 15 minutes.

The Historical Perspective

The idea of the 8 AM to 5 PM workday has historical roots. It gained prominence during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, when factory work and industrial production became more common. During this time, labor unions and workers’ rights movements pushed for standard working hours to address labor exploitation.

The 8-hour workday was a significant achievement of these movements. In 1914, the Ford Motor Company made history by implementing an 8-hour workday, recognizing that it not only improved workers’ well-being but also increased productivity. This move set a precedent for other companies to follow suit.

The Modern Workday

In today’s world, the traditional 8 AM to 5 PM workday remains the norm for many office jobs, but it’s not universal. Flexibility and remote work have become more prevalent, and people have greater control over their schedules. This shift has blurred the lines of what constitutes a “typical” workday.

The 8 AM to 5 PM workday is still common because it aligns with the traditional working hours of many businesses. However, it’s not uncommon to see variations, such as 9 AM to 6 PM or even compressed workweeks, where employees work longer hours on some days to have more days off.

Calculating the Hours

To calculate how many hours are in an 8 AM to 5 PM shift, we can break it down step by step

1. Start time: 8:00 AM

2. End time: 5:00 PM

Subtract the start time from the end time to find the total duration of the shift

5:00 PM – 8:00 AM = 9 hours

So, in terms of the clock, an 8 AM to 5 PM shift is indeed 9 hours. However, as mentioned earlier, this doesn’t account for breaks. In most workplaces, employees are entitled to a 30-minute lunch break and two 15-minute breaks, totaling 60 minutes (1 hour). Therefore, the actual “active” work hours are 8 hours.


How many hours are 7 : 00 am to 3: 00 pm?

7am to 3pm is 8 hours – calculate time between any two hours while you type.

How many hours a week is 8-5?

An 8-hour shift is a global norm that full-time employees are required to work daily, 5 days per week, for the total hours worked per week to equal 40, according to the same norm.


The 8 AM to 5 PM workday, often referred to as a “9-to-5” schedule, is deeply rooted in history and remains a common working period. While it may seem to represent a 9-hour workday, this figure doesn’t account for breaks. In reality, the typical workday encompasses around 8 hours and 15 minutes of active work. However, in our ever-evolving work landscape, the concept of the traditional workday is increasingly open to customization, with more flexible schedules and remote work options becoming the norm. Understanding the hours in a workday is not just a matter of arithmetic but also reflects the evolving nature of work in the modern world.

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