We all work too much. Indeed, millennials are the hardest working generation due to structural effects of poor policy from preceding generations (like the 2008 crash and encouraging rent seeking behaviour). Both the boomers and Gen X earned more for their work than millennials, so what’s the point of current working culture of itself isn’t working? It’s high time that we rethink productivity in relation to wages and time. Economists are on board, plus there are a litany of other reasons to work fewer hours.
Working fewer hours was once seen as an essential indicator of economic and social progress. I explore this history in my book Whatever Happened to the Leisure Society?
It’s time to put reduced working hours back on the political and industrial agenda.
There are strong arguments for working fewer hours. Some are economic. Others are about environmental sustainability. Yet others have to do with equity and equality.