LOL, The 20-Hour Work Week

When reading that Gartner predicted the end of the 40-hour work, I assumed more hours. Not the case. The analyst firm proclaims the 20-year work week will come by 2015. Say that again?

“As the need to employ skilled staff from demographics unable or unwilling to work 40 hours a week increases, Gartner believes the ’20-hour-per-week job description’ will emerge—a role that can be successfully accomplished in half the normal time…Rather than a draconian measure to halve the working hours of all employees, the 20-hour job description, as suggested by Gartner, is an approach to help increase an organisation’s ability to attract and retain skilled and highly qualified workers”. 

Geez, I guess we all have something to look forward to. Gartner reasons that changing demographics (how about all those aging baby boomers) and benefits of technology will make reasonable the 20-hour work week.

Mmm, the only real benefit I’ve seen from technology advancement is increased work hours. The vacuum created by technology fills up with more work than leisure. The connected world means work follows you around.

What about all those tech startups? You think the young drones over at Google work anything less than 80 hours a week? Business competition is fierce, and the winners work lots of hours. Twenty won’t be nearly enough.

Now if Gartner wants to talk aging boomers staying in the workforce and working 20 hours a week, I’d believe that, especially if Medicare picks up the insurance tab. Many companies might just find huge value in a bunch of older, part-time employees that cost less because the government is responsible for insurance.

As for me, I’d be happy just to get down to a 40-hour work week by 2015.

Photo Credit: Bernard Polet