Gartner: The 40-Hour Workweek Era Is Ending

… By 2015, there will be more workers who interact with technology, but they’ll be working a whole lot less hours each week, finds a Gartner research report released on May 30.

Gartner argues that three of the four traditional pillars of work—the living wage, long-term relationships with loyal employers, and government- or company-provided pensions—have already gone the way of the dinosaurs, leaving only the 40-hour workweek.

But this, too, is not long for the employment economy, the report said. Societal views on primary wage-earner and caregiver roles, as well as on retirement, are in the midst of changing, taking with them the de facto 40-hour work week. Individuals are already reconsidering its pervasive influence, the report argues, and the dialogue is becoming increasingly political.

Those most affected are at the helm. Retiring Baby Boomers, working-age mothers and Generation X workers are seeking a more fulfilling work/life balance, and the traditional workplace structure is holding them back. The report said that no longer will the workplace be dominated by single bread-winners who expect to retire at the end of their working life, and that businesses need to reckon with this trend. …

hmm I wonder if Gartner read Bill Gates’ memo on ‘The New World of Work’ published May 19, 2005. And what is that anyway, a 40-hour work week 🙂

Digital free agents as change agents

Yet, the decline of the standard 40-hour workweek will not occur in a bubble, but at the same time as a consumerization trend increases the roles that IT plays in people’s personal lives.

“It will be very hard to draw a distinction between the personal and work computing environment. The shift in power away from the organization, and in particular, the IT department, will be even more significant with these people,” said Prentice.

In what Gartner calls the emergence of the “Digital Free-Agency,” individuals will be expecting to blend professional and personal computing requirements in an integrated environment. The report said that the effect of this user-driven practice coupled with new 20-hour job descriptions will change the workplace as IT knows it. …

This is a nice insight. Funny by the way how the analysts are always trying to re-word things and come up with new phrases / defenitions … DIgital Free Agents … I think they mean consumerisation, but anyway …

Source: eWeek.com

The report referred to in the article can be found at Gartner.com

Peter de Haas
Peter de Haas

Peter is gepassioneerd door de grenzeloze mogelijkheden van technologische vooruitgang. Met meer dan 35 jaar ervaring in de IT heeft hij talloze ontwikkelingen zien opkomen en hun impact op organisaties en mensen meegemaakt. Met een scherp oog voor het identificeren van oplossingen waar anderen alleen problemen zien, is hij een ware expert in digitale transformaties.
Peter helpt individuen, teams en organisaties bij het ontwikkelen van nieuwe vaardigheden en het implementeren van baanbrekende oplossingen. Zijn inzichten en ervaringen maken hem een gewaardeerde bron voor iedereen die de nieuwste technologische trends wil begrijpen en toepassen.

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3 reacties

  1. Futurists were predicting the end of the 40 hour work week was coming soon… at least 40 years ago. Hasn’t happened. Doubt it will.
    -rich

  2. Richard,
    I very much agree with you on that. What I think is that the way we define work changes and workinghours are no longer 09:00 – 17:00 but employees will get more freedom in when and where they work (provided that they have jobs that allow that). In my personal experience I work when I want outside Office hours and don’t hesitate to do some private stuff during “working-hours”. Bottom line is I like what I do and I don’t count the hours (but its over 40 h a week 😉 )

  3. The whole concept of a 40 hour week as an Industrial Era concept that now only applies in Factory floors and Government Departments. Since the emergence of the Knowledge Management Era the concept of a 40 hour week has passed into history.
    Who in the IT Industry now only works a 40 hour week? Certainly not me or anyone I know of.
    The proliferation of PC’s at home, broadband connections, better security, blogs and other social software changes has made such concepts antiquated and obsolete.
    They were only ever mean’t to protect blue collar workers from 19th century expliotation anyway. We white collar workers kissed such concept goodby years ago, particularly if you are a frequent domestic or international airline traveller.
    In fact there are terms like “Employer Theft” in Industrial Relations that describe how some organisations and senior managers are expecting workers to put in a hell of a lot more effort than what their contract formally pays them for. Even technologies like mobile phones, pagers and always-on PDA connections that extend the working day both geographically and temporally.

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