21 hour working week

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Levo
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21 hour working week

Postby Levo » 2013-02-12, 10:48

Have you ever heard about it?

What do you think about it, how could you imagine society if general working hours changed to 21 hours a week in full time?

Many say it has a lot of advantages besides the disadvantages.
Less pay maybe, though more time, and cheaper lifestyle (doing your own cooking, getting sick more rarely, etc...). More time to your social relations, some even report they have time to do other activities that can lead to making money or do something useful for the society.

What do you think?

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby BlackZ » 2013-02-12, 11:07

I think that the "less pay" part would make people try to have more than one job. That happens in Brazil even with our 40 hour working week limit.
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-02-12, 13:51

Why 21? I'd say 24, then you could have 3 days of 8 hours.

I think 28 or 32 would be perfect. As a fulltime week, so parents for example could work 24 hours as a parttime job then.

It only works though when people would still earn enough. I mean, lots of people work 40 hours and still can't pay their rent, then it won't be so nice for them when their work week will be shorter...
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Levo » 2013-02-12, 14:52

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Why 21? I'd say 24, then you could have 3 days of 8 hours.

I think 28 or 32 would be perfect. As a fulltime week, so parents for example could work 24 hours as a parttime job then.

It only works though when people would still earn enough. I mean, lots of people work 40 hours and still can't pay their rent, then it won't be so nice for them when their work week will be shorter...

Yeah, here too, only about 15-20% of the population (according to sociologists) are able to pay the bills, basic food and other basic needs and still have something left.

As for the why 21, is that there is a movement promoting 21 hour working week. (maybe 3 X 7 hours?) I'm just lazy now to look up its webpage.

As I mentioned in another forum, evolutionally a human is designed to spend 3-4 hours a day to collect the sufficient amount of food. The rest was spent by arts, playing and social contact.

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-02-12, 15:07

Levo wrote:
As I mentioned in another forum, evolutionally a human is designed to spend 3-4 hours a day to collect the sufficient amount of food. The rest was spent by arts, playing and social contact.

That's so... depressing.

Although the food must taste nicer now, I'm sure. A life without chocolate or a life where you have plenty of time for arts and other nice stuff... :hmm:


[edit] I found this link: http://neweconomics.org/projects/towards-21-hours

It mentions something important that I have thought about much last year: a shorter work week would be really good against unemployment because more people could share in the amount of available work.
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Levo » 2013-02-12, 16:06

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:
Levo wrote:
As I mentioned in another forum, evolutionally a human is designed to spend 3-4 hours a day to collect the sufficient amount of food. The rest was spent by arts, playing and social contact.

That's so... depressing.

Although the food must taste nicer now, I'm sure. A life without chocolate or a life where you have plenty of time for arts and other nice stuff... :hmm:


[edit] I found this link: http://neweconomics.org/projects/towards-21-hours

It mentions something important that I have thought about much last year: a shorter work week would be really good against unemployment because more people could share in the amount of available work.


Ahh, don't even mention that! I have thought about it many times. Like, what if there were two shifts at most working places, with 6-6 working hours. Everyone would be able to go to the bank, hospitals would be opened at weekends, government institutions as well, one wouldn't have to take holidays off to do his business there.
I'd bet sooner or later productivity would bring its advantages and salaries would reach the level of the 8-hour working-day level pretty early.
Also, I'd bet many people would start into doing voluntary-work or part time-jobs or simply doing other useful activities: Cook bread, grow some vegetables, fruits, etc... As some already do, who work part-time.
There would be so many possibilities... :P

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Saaropean » 2013-02-13, 0:28

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:It mentions something important that I have thought about much last year: a shorter work week would be really good against unemployment because more people could share in the amount of available work.

Yes, but people with low-income jobs can't afford to reduce their work hours. And aren't they those with the highest risk of being unemployed?

Another factor that hasn't been mentioned yet: In Western Europe, it's mostly women with children who work part-time. In fact, every third women who works in the EU works part-time*.

* 30,8% EU-wide. Highest percentages: 74,7% [flag]nl[/flag], 45,6% [flag]de[/flag], 44,2% [flag]de-at[/flag] 41,9% [flag]nl-be[/flag]. Lowest percentages: 2,4% [flag]bg[/flag], 5,1% [flag]sk[/flag], 7,6% [flag]hu[/flag], 8.9% [flag]lt[/flag]. Source: Federal Statistical Office, Germany

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby JackFrost » 2013-02-13, 3:20

Levo wrote:cheaper lifestyle (doing your own cooking, getting sick more rarely, etc...).

You can bet it'll be cheaper because you really won't have a lot of money. And you might have to resort buying crap food sometimes to shut the stomach up.

I mean, I know I can basically live with 20 hours/week on the minimum wage of $10/hour. Enough to pay rent in an apartment full of roommates opposed to renting your own place, which is something I would to do when I'll be in my 30s. Enough to have a few bags of good groceries per week. Enough to save up to travel around and do family obligations.

But when it comes to more expensive items like computer, furniture, house maintenance products, etc., you'll have to save up for them. And that sounds a bit tedious.

Also, if we make everyone work 20 hours/week, that means less taxes the government can collect from the salary, which would hurt the funding for many things that the society expects the government to fund fully and adequately, which would be education, healthcare, infrastructure maintenance, etc.

By the way, that's $10,400/year, which is considered to be a poverty salary for a single person. $20,800? Still a poverty salary if you're married and have two children to feed as well. $41,600? Well, you'd be very lucky to be earning $40/hour...

hospitals would be opened at weekends

Erm, hospitals are always open... It's not a business, but a vital institution to keep us from dying as long as possible. :?

voluntary-work

I'd rather be paid if I'm making $10,400/year. :roll:
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Kenny » 2013-02-13, 6:25

Lol, Jack. In Hungary, the annual salary of a teacher working 35-40 hours a week is somewhere around $6000 a year. Granted, the cost of living over here is cheaper, but there is no way you'll ever buy anything "expensive" unless you do your best setting some money aside each month.

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Lietmotiv » 2013-02-13, 7:39

Here is an average 40 hours/week worktime. But most of the people work 9-10 hours/day - basically if you start at 9 and finish at 17:00 but you have tasks to furfill, you stay until 19:00.
I do believe my social life would be definitely be better with 21 hour working week - more sleep/rest, more time for myself, fiancee, and so on, however that would mean less money, which I'm not quite found of atm.

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-02-13, 8:36

Saaropean wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:It mentions something important that I have thought about much last year: a shorter work week would be really good against unemployment because more people could share in the amount of available work.

Yes, but people with low-income jobs can't afford to reduce their work hours. And aren't they those with the highest risk of being unemployed?

Another factor that hasn't been mentioned yet: In Western Europe, it's mostly women with children who work part-time. In fact, every third women who works in the EU works part-time*.

* 30,8% EU-wide. Highest percentages: 74,7% [flag]nl[/flag], 45,6% [flag]de[/flag], 44,2% [flag]de-at[/flag] 41,9% [flag]nl-be[/flag]. Lowest percentages: 2,4% [flag]bg[/flag], 5,1% [flag]sk[/flag], 7,6% [flag]hu[/flag], 8.9% [flag]lt[/flag]. Source: Federal Statistical Office, Germany

Yes, like I already said: "It only works though when people would still earn enough. I mean, lots of people work 40 hours and still can't pay their rent, then it won't be so nice for them when their work week will be shorter..." But I still think it would be better when everyone has a job, even though it's 20 hours, in stead of some people working their ass off and others aren't able to do anything.

What's important about that factor...? Yes, lots of people (women) already work parttime, that's true. Would be nice when men could also do that (and four days is quite usual in the Netherlands and also Germany I think already).
I really do think that spending time with your family is more important than earning money to buy new furniture...

Yesterday in my newspaper:

http://www.alternative-wirtschaftspolit ... 19884.html

An open letter to Merkel: 30 hours would be best, they say!
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Levo » 2013-02-13, 9:15

JackFrost wrote:
Levo wrote:cheaper lifestyle (doing your own cooking, getting sick more rarely, etc...).

You can bet it'll be cheaper because you really won't have a lot of money. And you might have to resort buying crap food sometimes to shut the stomach up.

Lol, Jack. That's the case now, working full-time. :D
JackFrost wrote:I mean, I know I can basically live with 20 hours/week on the minimum wage of $10/hour. Enough to pay rent in an apartment full of roommates opposed to renting your own place, which is something I would to do when I'll be in my 30s. Enough to have a few bags of good groceries per week. Enough to save up to travel around and do family obligations.

The last sentence is already more we can afford from working 40 hours a week :)
JackFrost wrote:
But when it comes to more expensive items like computer, furniture, house maintenance products, etc., you'll have to save up for them. And that sounds a bit tedious.

As it is now too, working full time at a good company in the capital :D

JackFrost wrote:Also, if we make everyone work 20 hours/week, that means less taxes the government can collect from the salary, which would hurt the funding for many things that the society expects the government to fund fully and adequately, which would be education, healthcare, infrastructure maintenance, etc.

I understand your point, but no. The other shift would be filled with the other 20-twenty-something-hour worker who would pay his tax as well.

JackFrost wrote:
hospitals would be opened at weekends

Erm, hospitals are always open...

Lucky you!
Here you can only go to the doctor's in really narrow time-periods.

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-02-13, 9:28

But Levo, would you want to get rid of the whole idea of weekends too?
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Car » 2013-02-13, 9:31

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Would be nice when men could also do that (and four days is quite usual in the Netherlands and also Germany I think already).
]

No, part time usually means working fewer hours per day. Like women who work part-time usually only work in the morning and not in the afternoon.

Yesterday in my newspaper:

http://www.alternative-wirtschaftspolitik.de/show/6619884.html

An open letter to Merkel: 30 hours would be best, they say!


While being paid for 40 hours... That would only lead to the jobs being moved to other countries, Eastern Europe, Asia etc. That's exactly what happened all the time before the real wages here were lowered, the reason was always the same: Your wages and ancillary labour costs are too high. Apart from not wanting to pay that much, many companies couldn't afford it either and would have to lay off more people.

I once saw a documentary from the 70s what they predicted life in the 21st century to be like. They predicted a 25 hour week, but people actually are working more hours again because they need to to stand a chance in an increasingly integrated EU (that also grew a lot) and a more and more globalised world.

As for working less and also being paid less: Like others pointed out, many/ most could not afford it. Yes, you have those downshifters, but they have good, well-paid, stable jobs. How many people can still say the same?

Most people's lifestyles have become so much more expensive and people are taking so much for granted these days. Just think of how much most people spend on their mobiles.
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-02-13, 10:00

Car wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Would be nice when men could also do that (and four days is quite usual in the Netherlands and also Germany I think already).
]

No, part time usually means working fewer hours per day. Like women who work part-time usually only work in the morning and not in the afternoon.


You misunderstood me: working four days counts as parttime as well, doesn't it? Yes, some people may work only in the morning, but it obviously depends on the job what's possible.

As for working less and also being paid less: Like others pointed out, many/ most could not afford it. Yes, you have those downshifters, but they have good, well-paid, stable jobs. How many people can still say the same?

Most people's lifestyles have become so much more expensive and people are taking so much for granted these days. Just think of how much most people spend on their mobiles.


You seem to contradict yourself here... On the one hand there are the people who can't afford working less because they wouldn't have enough money to live anymore; for those people it won't work. But there are also people with quite expensive lifestyles who take much for granted and that can change, can't it?
I realise of course that those people don't want to change... But with a crisis like this people start to realise they can't go on like this anyway.

I hadn't understood that they were saying you should get paid for 40 hours while working 30. That doesn't really make sense to me.
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Levo » 2013-02-13, 10:34

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:But Levo, would you want to get rid of the whole idea of weekends too?

I don't know, I'm opened to any new ideas about it.
But it's true, I had a thought of having maybe all-time opened shops and institutions, where each person works only 3 days a week, the other one, the other 3 days.
Or 5 days a week, but then 4-5-6 hour working-days, having two shifts at each shop/hospital/institution, etc...

To be honest, sometimes it seems like, office work can be done in 6 hours. Or, its productive time is often not longer than that.
Or if there are lots to do, and not even the 8-9 hours are enough to finish, then it means you needed a longer break after 4-5 hours no matter what, and you are likely to spend even an hour unproductive.

Some jobs, like artists, designers don't have a fixed working time now either. It is pointless.

Also, to be honest, if I'm told, I'd have to work only, let's say 3 days a week, I wouldn't mind staying in late in the evening every now-and-then, if I have so many tasks piled up. I know and feel, I have so many time to relax on the other 4 days...
I have experience similar to that, and I know it works for me.

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Levo » 2013-02-13, 10:51

I don't want to go into countings, but
I read some really stirring experience about part-time so far.
Almost all said, it was worth the shift.
Some stated, they almost never got sick after changing to 3 days of work each week. They spent less on medicines.
They had time to do the cleaning and household duties, and there were days when they didn't have anything left to do then just enjoy each other and spend time with their family.
Also, that they spent less on food - since the had time to cook properly. Some even make their own bread from the base ingredients. (And some even make a small business of that, raising their own-money).

Office working should not be paid less in my humble opinion (with 6 hours for example), maybe, as well as some other professions, where working-hours have no real meaning.

Of course, I could hardly imagine of living on less money than today, in Budapest, but it is still interesting to think about it:
Even if you earn, let's say 60-70% of your present-day salary, and your consumption is around 80% of the original, then, the difference is not so horrible. And you get lots of quality benefits in exchange.

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-02-13, 10:58

Levo wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:But Levo, would you want to get rid of the whole idea of weekends too?

I don't know, I'm opened to any new ideas about it.
But it's true, I had a thought of having maybe all-time opened shops and institutions, where each person works only 3 days a week, the other one, the other 3 days.

Okay. I'm really against that, but I understand the idea. I like Sunday to be a rest day for as much people as possible :)

They had time to do the cleaning and household duties


My house really needs working weeks of 21 hours :lol:
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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Levo » 2013-02-13, 11:01

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:
Levo wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:But Levo, would you want to get rid of the whole idea of weekends too?

I don't know, I'm opened to any new ideas about it.
But it's true, I had a thought of having maybe all-time opened shops and institutions, where each person works only 3 days a week, the other one, the other 3 days.

Okay. I'm really against that, but I understand the idea. I like Sunday to be a rest day for as much people as possible :)

They had time to do the cleaning and household duties


My house really needs working weeks of 21 hours :lol:

Oh yeah! :D

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Re: 21 hour working week

Postby Levo » 2013-02-13, 13:31

By the way, very interesting studies about the effect of lessening working hours during the 20th century:
http://www.shorterworkweek.com/econeffect.html


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