Work isn’t working
As precarity and low pay become further embedded in the job market, at a time when work-related stress and exhaustion are endemic, it is clear that a new, radical approach to employment is required.
Many industries already face existential threats from automation, climate breakdown, a crisis of care, and an ageing population. In Overtime, Kyle Lewis and Will Stronge identify a powerful and practicable response to these worrying trends: the shorter working week.
This urgent and timely book shows what a shorter working week means in the context of capitalist economies and delves into the history of this idea as well as its political implications. Drawing on a range of political and economic thinkers, Lewis and Stronge argue that a shorter working week could build a more just and equitable society, one based on collective freedom and human potential, providing scope for the many to achieve a happier, more fulfilling life.
About the Author
Kyle Lewis iis a PhD candidate at the University of West London and a working time consultant at the think tank Autonomy.
Will Stronge is the co-director of the think tank Autonomy, and a researcher in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Brighton.
“Overtime is a stirring call to action in the fight for a shorter working week. Crucially, Lewis and Stronge remind us that no victories for workers have ever been won without struggle. Overtime is a critical text for socialists seeking to understand how the world of work has changed, and how to imagine a world in which our lives are no longer dominated by it.”
—Grace Blakeley, author of The Corona Crash
“The centuries old struggle by workers to free themselves from the dictatorship of work has emerged once more. Freedom from drudgery and the reduction in working hours have never been won without a fight. This book will prove invaluable in arming not only those who want to understand that struggle but also more importantly those who want to engage in it.”
—John McDonnell, MP
“It’s no longer enough for the left to just shout jobs, jobs, jobs. Overtime not only shows why shorter working weeks need to be an integral part of a new deal for all workers, but also how it will be won.”
—Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Director of CLASS think tank
“In this terrific book, Will Stronge and Kyle Lewis present a remarkably clear and powerfully compelling case for shorter working hours as a path to greater sustainability, equality, and freedom.”
—Kathi Weeks, author of The Problem With Work
“Brisk and persuasive … [Overtime] is a lucid call for harnessing the power of collective action to strike a better work-life balance.”
“Focusing on a work-obsessed society, the failure of labor-saving technology to reduce work hours, the undervaluing of women’s work, and the toll of work on the environment, Overtime brings both hope and despair.”
“A compelling case for shortening the current work week, a policy that could see less overworking, more jobs, gender equality and a greener future.”
—Ella Glover, Huck
“Timely … reveals the urgency of the conversion to a shorter working week.”
—Adele Walton, gal-dem