The 30–Hour Workweek Is Here (If You Want It)

In 1930, famed economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that within his lifetime, the future economy would be powered with a quarter of the effort. In a hundred years, he wrote, humanity would actually be confronted with the problem of too much leisure time, and what to do with it. Technological innovation meant that we could accomplish whatever needed doing in a 15–hour workweek, and we'd be endeavoring "to spread the bread thin on the butter," distributing what little work was necessary as equally as possible. Today, despite massive gains in productivity, and thanks to unrepentant consumerism, Keynes's prediction couldn't have been further off. In 1991, sociologist Juliet Schor found that Americans in the early '90s were working 163 more hours than they were in 1973. But now, economists (including Schor) are considering a perception of time that actually makes sense for a post–industrial clock. In a recent book published by the New Economics Foundation (NEF), called Time on Our Side, they examine why a 30–hour workweek would be a more rational, efficient, and sustainable approach to the modern, developed economy. Most importantly, they say it's totally doable––and big companies could even play a key part. Wouldn't people prefer to spend more time doing things other than working? Three years ago, NEF's head of social policy Anna Coote proposed the 21–hour workweek during the Ghent TEDx conference. As a "rallying cry" to suggest radical change, the idea earned a fair share... Continue reading at 'Fast Company'

[ Fast Company | 2013-10-31 00:00:00 UTC ]
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