The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week | TigerDroppings.com

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WikiTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2007
40721 posts

The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


For a few years now, I've been on this board predicting that we'll see a 20 hour work week as the standard within the next 30 years or so.

And until recently it didn't really hit me but I realized one day a couple months back that we are actually in the middle of that transition right this moment.

The current visible culprit is the "unintended" consequence of Obamacare: the 29'ers, or the growing practice of businesses limiting employee hours to 29 so that they don't have to pay for insurance.

Other factors are automation.


And then I read this article the other day and it kind of struck a chord. And I think many of you, who spend a lot of time during the work day on this very site debating politics and looking at WYHI threads, will relate to it as well.

On the Phenomenon of Bull shite Jobs

(and please forgive his quoting of Keynes, I almost quit reading at first, but soldier on, it's worth it)

quote:

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.


quote:

So what are these new jobs, precisely? A recent report comparing employment in the US between 1910 and 2000 gives us a clear picture (and I note, one pretty much exactly echoed in the UK). Over the course of the last century, the number of workers employed as domestic servants, in industry, and in the farm sector has collapsed dramatically. At the same time, “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers” tripled, growing “from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment.” In other words, productive jobs have, just as predicted, been largely automated away (even if you count industrial workers globally, including the toiling masses in India and China, such workers are still not nearly so large a percentage of the world population as they used to be).

But rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones.

These are what I propose to call “bull shite jobs.”

It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working.



(the whole article is well worth reading)



Anyway, my point is this: We're in the middle of the transition away from a standard 40 hour week. I'd be willing to bet than many of you don't actually work 40 hours in a week, despite probably being at the office that much.


Why do we as a society seem to be holding on to the idea of work for work's sake instead of embracing the liberating effects of automation?

Your thoughts?







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DevilDogTiger
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Nov 2007
2642 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


Is "thanks Obama" the correct responds?





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TJGator1215
Florida Fan
Member since Sep 2011
1893 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


More time for vacation. Sweet.





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Rickety Cricket
Navy Fan
Premium Member
Member since Aug 2007
34109 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


With the onset of cloud based computing, I've noticed a lot of firms adopting the belief that as long as you get your work done, it doesn't matter where or when you do it. Obviously office time is required, but many people are in for a few hours, then taking calls or emails from home. It's a big morale booster, especially for professionals that don't need to be babysat.





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lsutothetop
Columbia Fan
TigerDroppings Elite
Member since Jul 2008
10682 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


I'm young enough that if this really is the trend, the majority of my working life is going to be 20-25 hour weeks instead of 40.

I can fap to this






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lordguill
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Dec 2005
20036 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


Yeah that's the "Results-Only" work model. You're going to see more of that in the future.





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evil cockroach
LSU Fan
27.98N // 86.92E
Member since Nov 2007
5126 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

I'd be willing to bet than many of you don't actually work 40 hours in a week
I would agree with this. however, we need to define what work is. If we are calling work "doing something productive that leads to an end enhancement" (completing a report, finish baking a cake, bringing an oil well online from offshore), then I agree that you can always have downtime in between (heck, here I am posting on TD from work). If that is the case, I bet some fire fighters may work 0 hours one week. But, I would never call someone who's job it is to run into a burning building to possibly save my families life meaningless just because there were no fires that week.

I don't mind the 40 hour work week fading, I just don't want to see people's work ethic fade. If you can get the job done in 20 hours and rest 20 hours...great, more power to ya. But, if normally, it might take someone 40 hours to complete a task, and now instead of taking 1 week to complete the task, we now take two weeks to complete the task, well that's just Bull Sh!t.






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evil cockroach
LSU Fan
27.98N // 86.92E
Member since Nov 2007
5126 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

Yeah that's the "Results-Only" work model.
I like this model TBH






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Lsut81
USA Fan
Member since Jun 2005
64235 posts
 Online 

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


I can see this happening... I could honestly condense my work week down to 30hrs and get the same amount of stuff done.

As long as I had the ability to check email and take phone calls when needed.






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Zed
Alabama Fan
Member since Feb 2010
7942 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

Your thoughts?
A shorter work week will be awesome in the long run, but the transition will be rough for a lot of people.






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WikiTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2007
40721 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

But, if normally, it might take someone 40 hours to complete a task, and now instead of taking 1 week to complete the task, we now take two weeks to complete the task, well that's just Bull Sh!t.


Agreed. Efficiency shouldn't take a hit at all. At least not ideally.

Technological advancement should continue to make many jobs much more efficient.

But the real crux of this thread is, why don't we actually attempt to reap the benefits of technological advancement (automation)? Instead, we seem to just continue working and at a macro level just create more and more jobs that aren't actually productive, like the dog washer example in the article. Sure, the dog washer is actually performing a service, but the only reason that service is in demand is because people are too tired to do simple tasks like that themselves because they are still working so damn much.






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Chimlim
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Jul 2005
11295 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


As long as your fine with taking a pay cut. No one is going to pay you 40 hours worth of work if you only put in 29 hours.





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WikiTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2007
40721 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

but the transition will be rough for a lot of people.


this is very true.

which is why I brought up the whole Obamacare 29'ers example. That is going to be painful for so many people. But 10-20 years from now, it may be the norm






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Pilot Tiger
Georgetown Fan
Washington DC
Member since Nov 2005
60334 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

As long as your fine with taking a pay cut. No one is going to pay you 40 hours worth of work if you only put in 29 hours
think you missed the point






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WikiTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2007
40721 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

think you missed the point


he sure did






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CajunAngele
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Member since Oct 2012
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re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week










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The Easter Bunny
Georgia Tech Fan
Minneapolis, MN
Member since Jan 2005
41845 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

Sure, the dog washer is actually performing a service, but the only reason that service is in demand is because people are too tired to do simple tasks like that themselves because they are still working so damn much.


It's a bull shite job, for sure, but some of those jobs are also convenience things. Like me just paying two dudes to come pick up and dispose of an old couch for me. Sure, I could find a buddy with a truck and get him to help me, but it was a sleeper sofa and frick that.

I think a big issue (like with everything) will be resistance from old people who have a belief that putting in 40 hours is important because that's the way it's always been done. I'm very glad that most of my life the only thing my bosses have cared about is if I get my shite done.






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elprez00
New Orleans Saints Fan
Hammond, LA
Member since Sep 2011
12720 posts
 Online 

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

Anyway, my point is this: We're in the middle of the transition away from a standard 40 hour week. I'd be willing to bet than many of you don't actually work 40 hours in a week, despite probably being at the office that much.

Judging by the post counts on this site......

quote:

Why do we as a society seem to be holding on to the idea of work for work's sake instead of embracing the liberating effects of automation?

Because there are far too many people in this country that put the pursuit of the dollar above all else. And I'm talking beyond basic necessities. Too many of the people in management positions do not understand how to integrate technology as a tool. The world is better equipped now than ever before to have a virtual office, yet these managers are still stuck to the archaic notion of having your butt in the chair for 50 hrs. The funny thing is, these people are the first ones to call you after hours, and on weekends, taking advantage of cell phones and email. Technology should make us more efficient, not give you the excuse to be able to call 15 times on a Saturday to ask questions that could wait til Monday.

Somewhere along the way, the concept of having to work more than 40 hrs became the normal, and the very same people that used it to get ahead of their predecessors now expect it from their subordinates. The financial rewards they reaped are no longer reciprocated.

I hope, Wiki, that my generation is starting to see the fallacy of wasting away your years sitting in a chair for 50 or 60 hrs a week, making someone else money.






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elprez00
New Orleans Saints Fan
Hammond, LA
Member since Sep 2011
12720 posts
 Online 

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

As long as your fine with taking a pay cut. No one is going to pay you 40 hours worth of work if you only put in 29 hours.

What if you do 40 hrs of work in 29 hrs?






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WikiTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2007
40721 posts

re: The Death of the 40 Hour Work Week


quote:

I hope, Wiki, that my generation is starting to see the fallacy of wasting away your years sitting in a chair for 50 or 60 hrs a week, making someone else money.


elprez, I hope so too. Way too much of our lives are wasted away "working." I wish I didn't have to do it and I continually work to put myself in a position where I won't have to "work" any more. If I'm still working past 50, I'll consider myself a failure. Ideally, I'd be done before 45.







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