The 20-hour work week
You come in at nine, put in your eight or nine hours and leave at five or six p.m., if you’re lucky.
However, the New Economics Foundation (NEF), a new UK think tank, is suggesting that employees are spending too much time at work and should be spending more time with families. They’re suggesting a 20-hour work week.
The thinking behind a shorter work week is because right now the UK is suffering from a credit crisis (as is Canada where the average household is holding 150 per cent debt); parents are still torn between work and spending time with their children and consumerism. Another theory is that by having everyone work fewer hours, there would be enough jobs for everyone.
Anne Coote of the NEF said to the Guardian, “Are we just living to work, and working to earn, and earning to consume? There’s no evidence that if you have shorter working hours as the norm, you have a less successful economy: quite the reverse.”
The UK has the longest working hours in Europe with an average of 31.6 hours a week. In 2010, Canadians worked an average of 36.2 hours a week with men working an average of 39.2 hours and women at 32.7 hours.
That’s a decrease compared to previous years when the average weekly hours hit 38.5 in the late 80s.
How would you feel about a 20-hour work week? Could you afford it? Would you reduce your hours for less pay if the option were offered? Let us know!