This policy was something that drew my support toward Caroline Lucas and the Greens, it’s something they have been championing for a few years now.
Most studies suggest that we work far too much, and are not productive for most of that time. Other studies have demonstrated that we are actually more productive when we work for shorter periods. I believe we will move towards a system of shorter hours, shorter weeks and probably, more job-sharing (also demonstrated by the Greens leadership structure atm).
There’s a few points on this:
- As I mentioned above, there’s evidence to suggest that it actually makes you more productive - in which case, why should you earn less? Granted I’m not an employer, but I’d rather pay employees to produce more, then be around more.
- As mentioned initially by @pap, it is technological advances that are helping to enable this. It’s no coincidence that you see companies making huge profits and achieving huge valuations with very little staff. It’s seen a huge shift in the distribution of wealth in the last few years. I think this will also make it inevitable that a Universal Basic Income will be introduced - again, negating the worry of working so many hours for increasingly diminishing returns.
I know I bang on about him a lot, but this episode of Scroobius Pip’s podcast with Rutger Bregman touches on this in quite a bit of detail, also lots of related issues and is really interesting. I’ve started reading his book too, which is also well worth a look.