Think Tank says 21hr working week the way to go

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by in_the_cheapseats, Feb 13, 2010.

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  1. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    I ask you. Where do people that can write this kind of drivel come from? Academia and civil servants?

    Certainly can't come from the real world where something called economics lives.

    If you want to be be paid a wage you work for it. If this was to be introduced, the av wage would have to drop by the corresponding drop in productivity.

    As an employer, I wouldn't and couldn't pay more. Have they factored that in?
    Yeah, right....

    Sounds like another left wing "something for nothing" idiotic, utopian policy in the making......

    I despair....
  2. Not sure I agree with their logic but I do know that an enormous amount of man hours are wasted on First Capital Connect (and most other commuter services).

    For a couple years I endured the unmitigated torture of commuting into London, sharing the 0722 appalling service with the same 5 or 600 grey-suited, unsmiling dullards every working day. The trip took 1/2 hour - assuming that every individual had another half an hour to get to the place of work and settle in that equated to 1200 man hours per day wasted on that train load alone. Put another way - in a year those commuters wasted 312,000 hours (assuming 260 working days a year) or the equivalent of almost 9,000 working days lost or the employment of 34 people for a year.

    An unscientific approach I admit, but there it demonstrates that there is a pressing need to reshape the workforce and make it leaner and more efficient. Reducing time wasted on travel would be a sound start.
  3. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Travelling time is not included in working time. People commute or don't commute; their choice. Personally, I'd agree with the sentiment of trying to reduce my commuting time. However, it is my choice and not the employers.

    Unless you want to direct the population that they may not take employment more than 30mins from their place of habitation? Not in a capitalist society, thank you. 8O
  4. Outstanding, I now do 14 hour days, 70 hours a week, so come Tuesday midday I'm on overtime for the rest of the week, works for me. :D

    Pity it's not aimed at me.. :(
  5. Britain works the longest hours in Europe, Average approx 47per week. Now you would think we weer the most productive per man hour.
    We are NOT. Making someone work longer to get more out of them is counter productive.
    Every study shows that, it's only Britain's(almost Dickensian) managment mindset that holds us back and like fools the working staff fall for it every time.
    21 hours is only an aspiration but the theory is sound work a little less but be more concetrated on the task in hand .
  6. I know it's not and no I don't - as a died-in-the-wool capitalist I would never impose that type of direction. I come from the posn of waste and cost and my point is that, as a society, we could improve either the quality of life of an elm of the population or its productivity by breaking the need for commuting.

    A more sophisticated use of technology would allow people to work from home for some of the week when face-to-face time is not required. I know that there are issues associated with working from home, but with some canny planning and education (coupled with a few sackings for shirjers working at home), it could be done.
  7. You need to work faster then!!! :D
  8. Hmm, I saw that too and wondered how quickly it would make it onto here. Oh how I chortled as I come to the end of another 60 hour working week, though with only a 15 minute commute.

    "Travelling time is not included in working time. People commute or don't commute; their choice. Personally, I'd agree with the sentiment of trying to reduce my commuting time. However, it is my choice and not the employers."

    I would have to disagree with that. The only choice you have is whether or not to join a particular firm - you don't have any control over the location of their office or worksite. And given the economic imperatives currently at play in the job market, the decision as to whether or not to take up a particular position is getting less and less free.
  9. I can actually see a few upsides amongst the doom and gloom.

    At the moment, we have a working-age population split between a) those who are thrashing them senseless for all the hours they can to stay in work and b) those who - for a variety or reasons - have no job to pay their way.

    Looked at in the abstract, if man-hours (is that too sexist?) required for current levels of production were redistributed from a) to b), there would be more people in work and therefore fewer people claiming the dole. The benefits bill would shrink and the tax-load be spread more widely, making everyone rather better off per hour worked.

    Since the same man-hours are being worked, the wage bill wouldn't be any higher. Potentially, if the workforce are less tired they'll be more productive in their working hours.

    The downside is that everybody will have to take the hit in their wage packet or profit margin in the initial phase before the upside kicks in and the UK workforce are just too damned scared of poverty for that. I don't see any government imposing it any time soon, either.

    It's not on its own a solution, but as one of a package of measures I could see it having some success.
  10. The 'worthy tasks' they speak of I suspect is volunteer work, important and certainly worthy but surely not at the expense of a sustainable economy.

    When I did my MBA in 93 very few of the academic staff had any practical experience outside of academia, and it was a business school FFS.

    My business runs on 258 labour hours per week using 4 FT and 8 PT/casual employees. I used to employ a lot more part time and casual workers but the Govt introduced a minimum hrs per shift law and I had to lay 6 staff off. If you reduced the work requirement to 21 hrs then I would have to reduce opening hours and more casuals. So, less hours, less income and less productivity. Wonderful. If these guys think it such a goer why don't they give it a go by running a business successfully and show us all?

  11. No responses from the Jeremy Kyle watching membership of ARRSE, for whom this suggestion of a 21 hour working week, has resulted in convulsions.
  12. No Sir, wont be doing that, already had two trucks fall off the mountain trying to go faster this week.... :lol:

    (Haul logs out of the hills in NZ)
  13. i agree with the sentiment of the article.

    we've got everything we need, why work more to get more stuff we don't need? why do you have to have THE BIGGEST THE BEST economy/company or whatever, it's about sustainability.

    and as the article states, reducing the work hours would increase job oppertunities (unfortunately only in big businesses though, small businesses would suffer)

    salaries are too low in the UK too.
  14. As an aside to this - in discussions with a couple of pax about applying for some ERDF it would seem that the vast majority of applicants are looking to establish hair-dressing salons or lifestyle coaching centres and that they get very few applicants looking to establish any form of manufacturing business because it's too difficult to establish anything other than esoteric service industries in this country. I'm not too sure that our ability to play on the global circuit can be underpinned by an economy dependent on lifestyle coaches to grow GDP.

    With a bit of look messrs Cameron and Osborne develop an economy that favours the entrepreneur and re-establishes a manufacturing base in this country. I hope the tories take us away from an enormous, cumbersome, inefficient and expensive public sector to a lean, efficient, private-sector based economy that adds real value to UK plc.
  15. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    There are a lot of people in this country who SHOULD be doing at least 21 hours a week of work instead of sitting on their arrse watching daytime TV and going to the dole once every 2 weeks for their handout. :x

    When I was in skool (just a couple of years ago :p ) this was part of the Modern Studies curriculum. People will have more time on their hands for leisure because of the introduction of new technology. As this was early 1960's computers were not part of the deal. So even then it was being mooted that working hours should be shorter. This of course is not bourne out by experience. New technology such a computers has just meant that fewer people are required to do the task, but workers are still needed to put in their 40 hours or whatever a week.

    If working time was brought down to 21 hours per week, people would still need a full wage from that so productivity would have to soar. Or would people be like firemen and just get a second job?

    Getting the number of hours anyone works in a week is something that keeps management and unions in business. I suppose that working time could be cut by half, but most people would want to be able to fill the remaining time with useful labour/leisure as the vast majority of people don't want to sit around doing nothing. They want to work (strange as that may seem).