How Much Work Is Too Much Work?

Working in a work week can be harmful to the brain if you are over 40, a new study finds. The ideal number of hours of work for anyone over 40 is only 25 hours per week. The study gives credence to an idea that is gaining ground through the masses :. The change of 8 hours a day, 5 days a standard work week

Renowned economist John Maynard Keynes believed that the industrial revolution would lead to a life of entertainment . He wondered what we do with all our time once we were “free economic concerns pressure.” Although it sounds utopian now, for many years prediction Keynes seemed to be coming true.

The working hours throughout the industrialized world fell rapidly through the 1800s and 1990s. Americans in manufacturing worked about 70 hours a week in 1830. in 1890, the work week had lost weight 60 hours. A workweek of 40 hours was established by the International Labour Organization in 1935, although many countries did not reach this milestone until later.

To date, only a few countries have ventured there this standard. It is as if to bind up the law also establishes a minimum.

it makes sense that people should be able to spend less time on their jobs and their hours of being more productive. This set of graphics Mother Jones puts the whole situation on the table. Productivity has been on a steady increase since 1979. Wages and hours of work hardly moved. We would expect that the average income of one percent to be higher, but less consistent – they are taking all the financial risk and the risk that comes the potential rewards. The value of your reward, however, has increased significantly. It seems that only one percent are reaping the benefits of increased productivity.

Workers may be getting the short end of the stick in the world, but working in the United States is particularly disappointing. In addition to the inequitable allocation of the benefits of increased productivity, many Americans report work for longer than the expected 40 hours a week. US employers also provide a substantially smaller number holiday days and tend to offer less flexibility than entrepreneurs in other industrialized first world countries. Our retirement age is also likely to increase policymakers take action to save our social security floundering system.

Despite the lack of interest of the industrialized world in changing the standard work week, a growing number of studies support the idea. Shorter working hours could improve our health effectiveness and possibly even performance . The new study by the Melbourne Institute shows that workers older than 40 years have poorer cognitive abilities of the brain after a working week of 40 hours is another reason to support the change. This particular report even gives us a goal of 25 hours a week.

Beyond the studies, the popular media has also been discussing the reform. The New Yorker T l Atlantic and Pacific-Standard have published all well written thoughtful analysis on the matter. In an interesting assessment of man’s search working for fewer hours at work, Atlantic Joe Pinsker points out that only would wage benefits. Hourly employees would not be able to survive in a shorter time. Many can not make a living working 40 hours a week.

Far from being a reason to give up the idea of ​​a shorter working week, Pinsker analysis reveals how much really needs more to do. If 40 hours a week is too much, without changing the program for wages it is not enough. A worker earning $ 10 per hour only takes home $ 400 a week. That’s $ 1,600 a month. In some places, it does not cover the rent of a studio apartment.

Most people would agree that a more equitable distribution of the fruits of our work is desirable, but no one agrees on how to get there.

Some activists want to force change through government, such as an increase in the minimum wage mandates. Studies disagree about the impact this could have on economic growth and unemployment. A little more popular, however perhaps less viable idea universal income guarantees . Liberals like it because it gets cash in the hands of the poor. Some conservatives are cautiously supportive because the program would reduce government bureaucracy and inefficiency that exists with our current welfare programs.

A homegrown solution based on the market also are brewing.

The booming economy on demand and rapid increase in the number of people who do contract work are symptoms of a society that is tired of working long hours for little money. Unfortunately, the current legislation recently to support these non-traditional workers. Contractors are considered autonomous. 12.4 percent of their total income is taken as social security tax, as they are required to pay both halves of employees and employers in the rate. They are also eligible for benefit plans comparatively good price traditionally enjoyed by the employee. Allowing everyone the freedom to work a contract without penalty will go a long way to help workers chose jobs and hours working for them.

– Erin Wildermuth

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