Saturday, February 23, 2008

Workers of the Word, Relax

Great book.

The author created the Work Less Party, too.

Basically, the author states the obvious - that we don't need to work as much as we used to - but he weaves this fact into a bigger narrative that helps us see all of these emerging movements are key parts of the puzzle to better, sustainable living. And he actually clarifies things a bit - not only do we not have to work as much as we used to, but we should not, and even must not work as much as we used to. That's a pretty big distinction.

The author did not necessarily stress this, but when I think about 'reducing work', I'm thinking only of reducing that work which is meaningless and/or polluting and detrimental to society on the whole. Work is also taking care of your kids, and planting gardens, and creating art, and being creative in any number of ways - and we don't need to limit these things - at least not like we need to limit pollution-producing, society-destructing work.

[Ed. note: I'm starting to hate the word 'sustainable'. It's boring and overused.]

I've long wondered where all the new productivity was going. Due to computer technology and mechanization and corporate power over labor and exploitative globalization and various other productivity enhancements, workers are more productive each year than they were the last. How can that process happen for so many years - let's just look at the computer revolution starting in the 1980s - and we still have to work 40 hours a week?

It doesn't make any sense. So, let's change it.

We should come up with a viable strategy to move our society to working less - 30 hours a week sounds like a good start to me. Maybe 32 would be easier for people to comprehend (four 8-hour days instead of five), but 32 is too many.

This is a must-read book. It helped me think a little more clearly and creatively about several movements that I'd like to help bring to fruition here in America and around the world:

We've got our work cut out for us.

p.s. this just showed up on Reddit.

...added links.

1 comment:

Cali said...

What about giving up the notion of how much 'time' we put into work altogether?

The work environment should all about focusing on RESULTS, not how much time people taking getting to the results. As they're completed according to deadlines, everyone should be happy.

We're serving two masters right now...time AND results. The only master should be results.

Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson
Creators of the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)
Authors of the forthcoming book "Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It"