Gartner: The 40-Hour Workweek Era Is Ending

Here we go again: another report showing us how much technology is going to save us time and reduce the American workweek.  Didn’t we hear this 20 years ago?  How we would all have so much extra time on our hands due to technological improvements?  That’s just like the "paperless office," which of course is a joke, since we generate much more paper now than before the advent of the computer. 

A Gartner research report released on May 30 says that by 2015, workers will be working 20 hours instead of 40.  It argues that workers are seeking a more fulfilling life balance and employers better catch on if they want to retain good employees.  They sort of forget to consider that many people consider working an ecomomic reality and can’t afford to drop down to a 20-hour week.  The report encourages employers to create job descriptions for 20-hour positions.  Ugh….don’t we just call this part time?

It does cite the need for increased flexibility for workers, which I agree with, but usually that’s the ability to be able to work some hours from home.  It also states that it will be very difficult to draw a distinction between the personal and work computing environment.  Many employers have already figured this out and provide access to the corporate workstation from home.  Others use Blackberries or laptops as a desktop with a docking station, so the work environment is portable.  This is already being done, of course, so I fail to see what is to unique or novel in this report.  Increased flexibility and combined computing does not equate to a 20-hour week.  In my work teaching corporate seminars and speaking at conferences, I’m finding the work week continues to *climb* for the average worker.  As people have more flexibility and can work from home, they tend to just add more to their plates.  They leave work, go home, plug in, and keep working!

What’s your experience?



  1. Daily Report for June 6, 2007

    Team Collaboration Video in Parlano MindAlign … Parlano showed off video calling capabilities within MindAlign, its persistent chat application. “This is the first demonstration of fully integrated group chat and video calls utilizing the soon-to-be …

  2. I agree. The work week is getting longer. More meetings to attend. At my career they just keep adding things to our plate. Great post.