Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bring back the 40-hour work week

From TechRepublic, courtesy of Crooks and Liars:

In today's ever-increasingly cutthroat work environment, a common notion among employees and bosses alike tends to be, he who works latest works best. And while it seems that the 40-hour work week has been largely dispensed with in our hardworking culture, new studies show that working more very seldom produces better results. Employees work many more hours now than they have in the past, but it's coming at the expense of health, happiness, and even productivity.

More here, with cool and informative info-graphics.

And this doesn't even seem to be addressing people at the lower end of the wage scale who work two and three jobs just to stay afloat, thereby circumventing the entire concept of the forty hour week. Call me old fashioned, but I deeply believe that people should only work one job, and that forty hours a week is too fucking long. Unless, of course, you really do love your job, in which case it isn't really a job, and you're one lucky motherfucker. Most of us don't really love our jobs and do them because we need the money. And that's fine because we need to work in order to keep society functioning. But work should not be life's sole focus.

Everybody with whom I've ever discussed this line from Dead Poets Society agrees with it:

We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
So why the fuck don't our politics reflect it? Why do our leaders allow the wealthy to treat citizens like they're fucking robots? Why aren't we hard at work creating a society that's all about living life to the fullest? We certainly can't appreciate "poetry, beauty, romance, love" when we're working all the time, when we're worried about losing it all at any moment, when a day off is rare, rather than the norm.

America is sick and demented, and nobody wants to admit it.