I was happy to find this video on the multitude of benefits that could come from a reduced hour work week…
A change toward a reduced hour work week is likely to be necessary as we move into a future that understands our relationship with the planet and into a time of dwindling carbon resources. Not only would this change be beneficial so that we could improve our lives by having more time for friends, family, personal development, exercise, and creativity (in addition to other reasons mentioned in the video…), but this change may also be necessary as oil becomes less readily available and as we make more sustainable lifestyle choices that lesson our contribution to issues like global warming, pollution, or human exploitation (who really makes all of your products and what is their quality of life?).
Being less dependent on oil and living with the good of all beings in mind means that we can’t outsource all of our needs to other people and ship our products/food hundreds of miles around the world — we will need to depend on our own ingenuity and local communities to provide most of what we consume. I feel that many of us will need more time to do this (more than than is available after a 40+ hour work week, anyway). This is especially true if we’re talking about a future where we’re not just sustainable from a resource perspective, but where we’re also sustainably healthy — both physically and psychologically. We need to spend time doing things that give us meaning, and we need to feel some sense of balance (however elusive that may be!).
It is exciting to think there could be a future ahead where people have more time to pursue things that increase their well-being and to step more lightly upon the Earth.
For some other ideas related to this, check out the Center for a New American Dream. Their mission:
We seek to cultivate a new American dream—one that emphasizes community, ecological sustainability, and a celebration of non-material values.
Sounds good to me!