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“It is time to revive the international demand for shorter work hours” (Lizzie O’Shea) with no cut in pay.

In addition to improving health and well-being and reducing general unemployment, a twenty-hour work week as described by Kate Soper, could promote “better childcare, co-parenting and more equality between the sexes.”

In 2020, during the pandemic, more people than ever worked from home, causing us to rethink the spatial and temporal distinction of work and leisure. As Amann Y Alcocer and Martella comment, “working from home could lead to the further dissolution of the idea of leisure, entering an alienating 24/7 work dynamic.” [1]

It is predicted that in European Union around 54% of the jobs we know now will be replaced by computers in the process of automation. [2] Subsequently, it is time we prepare for work reduction and a post-labour society — both systemically and formally. 

[1] Amann y Alcocer, Atxu and Martella, Flavio. Public house: the city folds into the space of the home. The Architectural Review, June 2020
[2] Bowles, Jeremy. Chart of the Week: 54% of EU jobs at risk of computerisation., 2014

Image: Workers in the May Day Parade in New York City in 1936

The Reading List:
– Srnicek, Nick. Williams, Alex. Inventing the Future, Postcapitalism and a World Without Work. London: Verso, 2016
– Lafargue, Paul. The Right To Be Lazy, 1883
– Frase, Peter. Four Futures: Visions of the world after capitalism. London: Verso Books, 2016
– Soper, Kate. Post-Growth Living. London: Verso Books, 2020
– O’Shea, Lizzie. Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us about Digital Technology. London: Verso Books, 2019. 
– Crary, Jonathan. 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. London: Verso, 2013.