Forecasts of a jobless future have some fearing unrest from unemployment, whereas others imagine a more contented work-free society.
Aside from financial factors, paid employment brings different advantages—often psychological—such as self-esteem. Now, analysts at the Universities of Cambridge and Salford have set out to outline a recommended “dosage” of work for optimum wellbeing.
They examined how modifications in working hours have been linked to mental health and life satisfaction in over 70,000 UK residents between 2009 and 2018.
The study, revealed today within the journal Social Science and Medicine, shows that when folks moved from unemployment or stay-at-home parenting into paid work of eight hours or much less a week, their danger of psychological well-being issues reduced by an average of 30%.
“The standard model, through which everybody works around 40 hours per week, was never based mostly on how a lot of work was good for folks. Our analysis suggests that micro-jobs present the same psychological advantages as full-time jobs,” stated co-writer and Cambridge sociologist Senhu Wang.
“Nonetheless, the quality of work will always be essential. Jobs where workers are disrespected or subject to insecure or zero-hours contracts don’t provide the same advantages to wellbeing, nor are they more likely to in the future.”
Dr. Burchell added: “If the UK had been to plow annual productivity gains into reduced working hours rather than pay rises, the traditional working week could be four days within a decade.”