Today I was talking with my siblings, and the opinion was expressed that working may never be viewed the same way after this pandemic. I hope that to be true. And with so many friends and colleagues out of work, its time to examine if the contract style we agreed to until recently is now kaput as well.
It is my view that many people shouldn’t accept that contracts from before COVID should be put in place again after. Those contracts, as it turns out, didn’t protect anyone – employee or employer. Many organizations are going to go under from a lack of activity and available workers. Think about that…
Those organizations shouldn’t be surprised when former employees, now savvy to this, request that the form contracts take will be changed.
I think there are two elements I’d look to change for the good of everyone. I’d target reducing commutes to work, and limit working hours to 5 hours a day.
Commuting: I work from home often, and I bet many could if they wanted to. The benefits are substantial. I’m able to be in touch with my own rhythm, and work in my own pace without being micromanaged. I can get a lot done quickly, or slowly.
I have control over the hours of the day. I can walk to everything I need in a 30 minute radius.
This would cripple businesses that need cars. That’s not a bad thing. Businesses are focussed on filling a need. And humans don’t *need* to commute.
Working hours: Lets face it. Working more than 5 hours a day just means that everyone else needs to do it too. If we don’t impose an arbitrary limit to the number of hours anyone can work, then we get to where we are now really quickly. In case you didn’t notice, we were choking ourselves to death with mass consumption and the resulting pollution. Why? Because workaholism is real.
Wanna reduce pollution? Eliminate the commute, and eliminate false competition. That last bit takes a lot of thinking to get to, and it might be impossible.
Is it the way to create a happier, healthier human race? A happier, healthier planet?
This is a moment to renegotiate the social contract of what work is and what the goal of working is. It is a moment to reconsider how important the people who care for the planet and care for us are. It is time to look at that more closely and find a fairer, less consumer guided system.