Is the 40 Hour Work Week on Its Way Out?

Posted on February 3, 2014

To say that I am currently going through a transition period would be a grand understatement. Instead of boring you with all the Hows and Whys, I’d much prefer to focus on the What Ifs?

Any change in scenery opens up a host of new possibilities that were otherwise out of sight. My deck has recently been reshuffled and I am stepping out with a totally new hand.

It’s really got me thinking about the alternatives to the traditional career as we know it. And started to get me excited about a more self-directed method of working.

Enter Sara Horowitz and her fantastic piece recently published on Fast Company about what is often seen as a dirty word in creative circles. That’s right, I’m talking about that fickle little f-word:

Freelancing.

After perusing through her punchy, uplifting article on a topic that sets off fearful shudders in many an aspiring writer, I couldn’t help but feel inspired, emboldened even.

Horowitz doesn’t write about a way of working, she discusses a way of living. One that is scheduled, prioritized and dictated by you.

The idea that your life starts after 5pm (or much later depending on your job and zeal for promotion) and is confined to work nights and weekends is becoming harder and harder to swallow.

I love the thought of work being more transient, malleable and autonomous. And maybe, thanks to the advent of remote technology and digitalized platforms, the nature of work as we know it will begin to resemble these very characteristics.

In fact, Horowitz states in her article that by 2020, 40% of Americans will be working as freelancers, contractors and temps.

So is the 40 hour work week dead?

Not by a long shot.

But the tides are certainly changing and the thought of embarking on a self-directed career course is becoming a lot more practical and a hell of a lot less scary.

photo credit: wili_hybrid via photopin cc


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