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Old 03-25-2012, 06:59 PM   #1
pastortoy
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Whatever happened to "The Leisure Society?"

Excerpts from the article by Jeffrey Kaplan (link below):

In 1930 Kellogg Company, the world’s leading producer of ready-to-eat cereal, announced that all of its nearly fifteen hundred workers would move from an eight-hour to a six-hour workday. Company president Lewis Brown and owner W. K. Kellogg noted that if the company ran “four six-hour shifts . . . instead of three eight-hour shifts, this will give work and paychecks to the heads of three hundred more families in Battle Creek.”

It was an attractive vision, and it worked. Not only did Kellogg prosper, but journalists from magazines such as Forbes and BusinessWeek reported that the great majority of company employees embraced the shorter workday. One reporter described “a lot of gardening and community beautification, athletics and hobbies . . . libraries well patronized and the mental background of these fortunate workers . . . becoming richer.”

Today “work and more work” is the accepted way of doing things. If anything, improvements to the labor-saving machinery since the 1920s have intensified the trend. Machines can save labor, but only if they go idle when we possess enough of what they can produce. In other words, the machinery offers us an opportunity to work less, an opportunity that as a society we have chosen not to take. Instead, we have allowed the owners of those machines to define their purpose: not reduction of labor, but “higher productivity”—and with it the imperative to consume virtually everything that the machinery can possibly produce.

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.p...s/article/2962
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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I was promised a four day work week (and not one of ten hour days, before you ask).

I expect that it is in the same holding area as my flying car. They are getting closer to the computer I can talk to, though.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
richlevy
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Well, he did get it right. It does exist - in Europe.

Quote:
Western Europe

In most Western European countries, working time is gradually decreasing.[15] The European Union's working time directive imposes a 48 hour maximum working week that applies to every member state except the United Kingdom (which has an opt-out meaning that UK-based employees may work longer than 48 hours if they wish, but they cannot be forced to do so).[16] France has enacted a 35-hour workweek by law, and similar results have been produced in other countries such as Germany through collective bargaining.[citation needed] A major reason for the low annual hours worked in Europe is a relatively high amount of paid annual leave. Fixed employment comes with four to six weeks of holiday as standard.
Meanwhile, we're working longer for less.

Quote:
Social impact

Because of the pressure of working, time is increasingly viewed as a commodity.[26] This trend, as well as the amount of working time being found to affect gender roles, has been notably researched by Sociology professor Dr. Stephen C. Smith.[27] In 2006, the average man employed full-time worked 8.4 hours per work day, and the average woman employed full-time worked 7.7 hours per work day.[28]
There is no mandatory minimum amount of paid time off for sickness or holiday. However, regular, full-time workers often have the opportunity to take about nine days off for various holidays, two weeks of sick leave and two weeks of paid holiday time, with some workers receiving additional time after several years.[29]
So, we have less vacation than most developed nations, probably more per-capita prescription drug use as a result, worse health benefits, higher health costs, worse health outcomes....

Yea Us.

P.S. Let's not forget worse maternity/parental leave.
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Last edited by richlevy; 03-25-2012 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:42 PM   #4
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I work 12 hour shifts.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
xoxoxoBruce
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They're making a big mistake.

Quote:
That output does not rise or fall in direct proportion to the number of hours worked is a lesson that seemingly has to be relearned each generation. In 1848, the English parliament passed the ten-hours law and total output per-worker, per-day increased. In the 1890s employers experimented widely with the eight hour day and repeatedly found that total output per-worker increased. In the first decades of the 20th century, Frederick W. Taylor, the originator of “scientific management” prescribed reduced work times and attained remarkable increases in per-worker output.
Quote:
One is that increasing a team’s hours in the office by 50 percent (from 40 to 60 hours) does not result in 50 percent more output (as Henry Ford could have told them). Most modern-day managers assume there will be a direct one-to-one correlation between extra hours and extra output, but they’re almost always wrong about this. In fact, the numbers may typically be something closer to 25-30 percent more work in 50 percent more time.
Quote:
After WWII, as the GI Bill sent more workers into white-collar jobs, employers at first assumed that the limits that applied to industrial workers probably didn’t apply to knowledge workers. Everybody knew that eight hours a day was pretty much the limit for a guy swinging a hammer or a shovel; but those grey-flannel guys are just sitting at desks. We’re paying them more; shouldn’t we be able to ask more of them?

The short answer is: no. In fact, research shows that knowledge workers actually have fewer good hours in a day than manual laborers do — on average, about six hours, as opposed to eight. It sounds strange, but if you’re a knowledge worker, the truth of this may become clear if you think about your own typical work day. Odds are good that you probably turn out five or six good, productive hours of hard mental work; and then spend the other two or three hours on the job in meetings, answering e-mail, making phone calls and so on. You can stay longer if your boss asks; but after six hours, all he’s really got left is a butt in a chair. Your brain has already clocked out and gone home.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:58 AM   #6
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I'm doing MY part! Are YOU? :p
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:37 AM   #7
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Fascinating stuff.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:21 AM   #8
infinite monkey
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Quote:
After WWII, as the GI Bill sent more workers into white-collar jobs, employers at first assumed that the limits that applied to industrial workers probably didn’t apply to knowledge workers. Everybody knew that eight hours a day was pretty much the limit for a guy swinging a hammer or a shovel; but those grey-flannel guys are just sitting at desks. We’re paying them more; shouldn’t we be able to ask more of them?

The short answer is: no. In fact, research shows that knowledge workers actually have fewer good hours in a day than manual laborers do — on average, about six hours, as opposed to eight. It sounds strange, but if you’re a knowledge worker, the truth of this may become clear if you think about your own typical work day. Odds are good that you probably turn out five or six good, productive hours of hard mental work; and then spend the other two or three hours on the job in meetings, answering e-mail, making phone calls and so on. You can stay longer if your boss asks; but after six hours, all he’s really got left is a butt in a chair. Your brain has already clocked out and gone home.
Amen. But please to stay late tonight and please to come in on the weekend.

No thanks.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
pastortoy
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Thom Hartmann's perspective - The Leisure Society has arrived...

for the 1%ers!

http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/201...-1-december-11
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:51 PM   #10
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Let's clarify a few things about the situation in France.

The law states that we work 35 hours per week. That specific law has created a huge mess.

Prior to it we worked 39 hours a week with 5 weeks of paid leave.
After it passed, we did 35 hours but were paid as if we did 39


Let take myself has an example : I'm a computer programmer.

In my last job, I had the status of a clerck employee. I worked 35 hours a week + 4 hours paid at 25% more than a normal one. But these 4 hours were exonarated of taxes for my employer.

Other people may work precisely 35, 37.5, or 39 hours depending on the company.

In another job, I was rated as a manager. I had no one to manage not even myself. In that case the law states that I cannot work more than 217 days per year. No time limit save for the European limit of 48 hours a week. In reality I busted my ass 9 to 10 hours in the office and usually 1 or two more in front of my home computer.

I did exactly the same thing in these two jobs : writing programs.

Let's not forget all the possible deregulations for turism, public works, etc...

The law on the 35 hours of work per week was passed as a means to get more votes for the socialist party that was in power at that time. It was just demagogy and nothing else.

And let's not forget those working for the administration. We used to say that the law was hard on these guys since they had to increase their output from 29 to 35 hours.

Unfortunately, it's not really a joke.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:58 PM   #11
pastortoy
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thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
They're making a big mistake.
Thanks for the Sara Robinson article. She has a link to this awesome Evan Robinson article on the International Game Developers Association site:

Why Crunch Mode Doesn't Work: Six Lessons

http://www.igda.org/why-crunch-modes...rk-six-lessons

Loved them both!
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:15 PM   #12
pastortoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhelm View Post
I work 12 hour shifts.
How many days per week?
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #13
classicman
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all of them
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:36 PM   #14
Flint
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
They're making a big mistake.
Any body who didn't already read this fascinating article found by Bruce, please do yourself a favor and check it out. I was completely surprised--I had no idea why we had actually developed the 40-hour week standard.



And somewhere in there they point to long hours creeping back following the lead of technology-obsessed geeks with Asperger's!
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastortoy
Thanks for the Sara Robinson article. She has a link to this awesome Evan Robinson article on the International Game Developers Association site:

Why Crunch Mode Doesn't Work: Six Lessons
Toy, do you work in the games industry?
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