9-to-5 Isn't the Grind Anymore, It's the Dream

It's time 'to embrace the liberating boundaries of a well-defined workday'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2015 12:33 PM CDT
This is how your cubicle should look at 5:01pm.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The 9-to-5 workday has long been known as the daily grind. In the 1960s, "working 9-to-5 was a symbol for the inauthentic life, a constant and pointless shuttling between the office and the television set," writes Carl Cederström in the Atlantic. But nowadays, "the boundaries between work and leisure have effectively dissolved, and the 8-hour workday has made way for the 24/7 workweek." That's why it's about time we embrace the 9-to-5, rather than considering it "dull and boring," he writes.

From 1870 to 1973, hours worked per year steadily decreased. But from 1973 to 2006, they increased by 180, thanks in large part to new technologies that allow people to work any time, anywhere. Employers hide behind the mantra of "do what you love" to exploit their workers (because, you know, you must be passionate about your job if you're waking up in the middle of the night to check work email, as 38% of remote workers do). "All of these," Cederström concludes, "are reasons to embrace the idea of the 9-to-5 workday, with its firm distinctions between work and not-work." Click for his full column. (Read more working stories.)

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