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Function less, live a lot more: 10 arguments for a shorter working 7 days

From strengthening financial systems and family living, to improving gender equality and democracy, 10 ways the shorter working 7 days could benefit us

As one of our all-time most popular articles Work much less, play more explored, recent years have seen a mindset shift close to work-life balance. More people seem to be wondering whether traditional operating patterns truly assist us. Author Douglas Coupland recently described the nine to five as “barbaric”.

Nederlander author and reporter Rutger Bregman is just one of those advocating the shorter working 7 days. “For some of us the queue is blurred between work and what we love, so existence wouldn’t change a lot, ” he informed Positive News last year. “But for many, there exists a clear distinction between what’s work as well as the rest of life.

“A poll last year in the UK asked people whether they found their jobs significant – 37 % said no . I believe we need to work less in certain jobs in order to do more of what issues and what is significant and important to community. ”


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At the beginning of 2017, a Swedish demo of a six-hour working day came to a close. Despite failing to encourage everyone, those behind the trial said its benefits outweighed the costs. Daniel Bernmar, a politician who helped bring about the particular experiment at a pension home in Gothenburg, told Positive Information that the results provided “the complete opposite story of the need to work more and to work harder”.

The newest Economics Foundation (NEF) has long supported the concept of shorter functioning weeks. Here, principal fellow at the thinktank, Anna Coote, suggests 10 reasons why it could be good for society.

1 . An inferior carbon footprint

Countries with shorter average hours tend to have a smaller ecological footprint. As a nation, the UK is currently consuming well over and above its share of natural resource. Moving out of the fast street would take all of us away from the convenience-led consumption that is harming our environment, and depart time for residing more sustainably.

2 . A stronger economic climate

If handled properly, a move towards a shorter operating week would enhance social and financial equality, easing our dependence on debt-fuelled growth – key substances of a robust economic climate. It would be competitive, as well: the Netherlands and Australia have shorter function weeks than Britain and the US, however their economies are as strong or even stronger.

3. Better employees

People who work less tend to be productive hour regarding hour than those frequently pushing themselves above the 40 hours per week point. These are less prone to sickness and absenteeism and make up a more steady and committed workforce.

4. Lower joblessness

Average working hrs may have spiralled, however they are not spread equally across our economic climate – just as some find themselves working all of hours of the day plus night, others struggle to find work at all of. A shorter operating week would assistance to redistribute paid plus unpaid time more evenly across the population.

5. Improved wellbeing

Giving everybody additional time to spend as they select would greatly reduce stress levels and improve overall wellbeing, as well as mental and actual health. Working much less would help us all move away from the existing path of residing to work, working to earn and earning to eat. It would help us all to reflect on plus appreciate the things that all of us truly value in life.

6. More equality between men and women

Females currently spend more time than men doing delinquent work. Moving towards a shorter working week as the ‘norm’ would help alter attitudes about sex roles, promote more equal shares of paid and past due work, and assist revalue jobs traditionally associated with women’s work.

7. Higher quality, inexpensive childcare

The high need for childcare comes partly from a lifestyle of long working hours which has spiralled out of control. A smaller working week would help mothers and fathers better balance their time, reducing the costs associated with full-time childcare. And also bringing down the cost of childcare, working fewer hrs would give parents additional time to spend with their children. This opportunity for a lot more activities, experiences plus two-way teaching plus learning would have benefits for mothers and fathers, in addition to their children.

8. Additional time for families, close friends and neighbours

Spending less time in paid work would enable us to spend more time with plus care for each other – our parents, kids, friends and neighbours – and to value and strengthen all of the relationships that make our lives worthwhile and help to build a stronger community.

9. Making really later life

A shorter and more versatile working week could make the transition from employment to pension much smoother, distribute over a longer period of time. People could decrease their hours slowly over a decade or even more. Shifting suddenly through long hours to simply no hours of compensated work can be traumatic, often causing disease and early dying.

10. A more powerful democracy

We’d all of the have more time to take part in local activities, to find out what’s going on close to us, to engage within politics, locally and nationally, to ask questions and to campaign designed for change.

The original edition of the 10 factors section of this article was initially published by the New Economics Foundation.


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The post Function less, live a lot more: 10 arguments for a shorter working 7 days appeared first upon Positive News.