Why should we work less? - Because we know that one day we’ll die!
I must admit that I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who is devoted to my job. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the idea of working a job you hate for endless hours a day, all just to pay for 2 weeks’ vacation a year. Plus, nothing excites me less than the idea of having to wake up super early for a long commute into the office for me to sit at my desk the whole day. Let’s face it, the constraints outweigh the positives here. This monotonous and exhausting routine felt like a ball and chain attached to my ankle, which ultimately dragged me away from my freedom.
My freedom was pretty much nonexistent because I had very little free time to do anything that I actually enjoyed. You’ve probably already cottoned on that I hate my job, but if you hadn’t at least now it’s clear. For years, I dreamed of being able to have more free time, and the Covid-19 pandemic gifted me that. Plus, I soon realized that I wasn’t the only one who felt like this.
How the pandemic has changed our professional lives
Covid-19 has undeniably changed traditional work settings, especially when it comes to remote working. With working from home as one of the main recommendations, 6 in 10 American workers are thought to be remote working, and that’s by choice and not necessity.
The US recently experienced the Great Resignation period in July 2021. Here, millions of Americans quit their jobs live on social media, despite the rate of unemployment being higher than ever.
As far as I’m concerned, working isn’t something I’m a fan of, and it’s caused me nothing but anxiety for years. Yet, now things have changed for lots of us. We have all realized that life is too short to worry about our professional lives. Additionally, the climate crisis has also turned things around.
👉 Let’s take these 2 crises (Covid and climatic), when we mix them together, what do we get? The answer is difficultly to plan for the future, which motivates many of us to live in the moment, rather than waiting for retirement to be able to do so.
The pandemic has changed our vision of work and the importance it has in our lives. The millions of workers who are fed up with the mundane routine and want to change their lives are proof of this.
How can we work less?
The idea of working less evidently raises the question of money issues because working less often means you earn less. Our attitude towards money and our consumption habits, therefore, need to be assessed.
Earning less obviously means buying fewer things, but we must keep in mind that money isn’t always the source of our happiness. We must therefore take into consideration the fact that money and time are also closely related. The more we work, the less time we have to do things for ourselves, whether that be looking after our children or working out, for example. Having more time on our hands is a luxury element too.
👉 Plus, Coronavirus has also highlighted the link between work and pollution. Working less is, therefore, a promising prospect for employees and the planet!
4 Days or a 32-hour week - Less is more
And sometimes, we dream and our dreams become reality; working less and maintaining our salary! No, there’s no magic solution, but a 4-day week makes this possible. Several countries have considered the option with the goal of supporting their economy following the pandemic.
- New Zealand offers workers a day off to favor local tourism.
- In Scotland, the Scottish National Party has included the idea in its manifesto.
- In Spain, 50 million euros have been spent to accompany businesses towards installing this new working week.
We need time to kill
For people in their sixties, like my parents, work is one of life’s pillars and often defines them as people. After all, the stigma of not working also means that many of us consider ourselves to be less worthy. If the pandemic has encouraged us to refocus our energy on our lives, instead of wasting time at work, that being said, our jobs do still remain essential parts of our lives for many of us. Perhaps the race doesn’t have to stop, but should instead slow down.
Working more, for better results and more money, isn’t exactly the best idea for everyone. Not having bounds of professional ambition isn’t a crime, and your career can take a backseat in your life. Needing time for yourself is normal because when you find yourself constantly running around from meeting to meeting, it can be hard to wind down.
Just think about what you could do with all that spare time. You could learn a new language, start gardening, or even spend time meditating. Why should we wait years before starting to enjoy life?!
Editor’s opinion - Looking for a sense of meaning
The Covid epidemic has encouraged us to rethink our working methods as well as reorganize our priorities. This isn’t a call to be lazy, it’s a message of incitement to reflect on our values, desires, and needs. So, whereabouts are you in your search for a sense of meaning?
🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!
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