The 30-hour Workweek - A Promising Alternative for Knowledge Workers?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Long working hours and burnout as well as other stress-related symptoms are common concerns amongst knowledge workers. An obvious solution might be to reduce working hours, for example, to a 30-hour workweek. Hence, this explorative study is interested in exploring the effects of the 30-hour workweek on knowledge workers. Object of study is a digital marketing agency; eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted. With a qualitative abductive approach, we aim to understand how the concept of the 30-hour workweek affects knowledge workers as well as key aspects of knowledge work such as autonomy, communication, creativity, motivation and commitment, and subjective quality assessment. Our findings suggest that the 30-hour workweek is a promising concept for knowledge workers and that it helps to counteract some modern challenges related to knowledge work such as work intensification, empty labour and psychological contract building. In addition, an attempt is made to draw the business case for the 30-hour workweek. Having used an interpretive approach, this study further places this concept in a wider economic and societal context in order to paint a rich picture of the 30-hour workweek.

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