Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Case for a 25 hour work week

I was reading an article recently about someone making a case for a 25 hour work and I find the different perspective refreshing.  Science Nordic's James W Vaupel, head of the new Danish Max Planck research center, says that the important standard is the aggregate amount of work people do in their lifetimes, not at what point in their lives they do it. Spreading out working hours over the full course of a person’s life is both psychologically and physically beneficial at all stages of life.

A 25-hour work week will allow younger people to spend more time with their children, take better care of their health, and improve their over-all quality of life, while for the older population -- many of whom have more time on their hands than they know what to do with -- work can serve as both a psychological and physical outlet. There are many people who think (including Sheryl Sandberg) the status quo (the 40/50 hour work week) is not only detrimental to one's health, but actually not that productive. If you do not know who's Sheryl Sandberg, she is the COO of Facebook. You can read her views that there's no such thing as work-life balance here.

Seriously, when I heard about shortening the 5 and a half day work week to 5 day work week, I thought the government thought the same. That is until I went to work. That's where I realised that all they are doing is shortening the work done in 5 and a half days, to 5 days. That's it. Does that make us productive? On the ground? In real life? Those people on the ground knows the answer.

Therefore, if you increase our retirement age, it is also fair to shorten our working hours since if we measure working over a course of a person's life, we're actually working more hours so therefore, our everyday working hours should be reduced

Fair. Correct? You can't have the best of both worlds. There is no such thing in real life. Something has to give.

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