Since roughly the end of the 70s productivity at workplaces has increased yet wages have stagnated (except for the top 1%) meaning that we are relatively worse off than before. All one has to do is look at the graph below to get the basic idea of this global issue.
With this in mind, it’s great to see economists calling for a reduced work week. In North America, a standard full-time week is 40 hours, and the economists are calling for a 30 hour work week.
The benefits of working less are huge for individuals as well as society as a whole. Some may think that fewer working hours would mean lost productivity and GDP, but they’d be wrong. There’s no evidence that the reduction will have larger negative economic impacts.
Anna Coote, head of social policy at the NEF, an independent think-tank, said: “It’s time to make ‘part-time’ the new ‘full-time’.
“We must rethink the way we divide up our hours between paid and unpaid activities, and make sure everyone has a fair share of free time.”
Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have shown it is possible to make changes like these without weakening their economies, the books claims.
It adds: “Time spent providing unpaid care constitutes an important civic contribution that is often unrecognised.
“A shorter working week would both ease the pressure on carers, most of whom are women, and enable their responsibilities to be more widely shared with men. It could therefore help tackle the entrenched domestic bases of gender inequalities.”