Time to Engage: How shorter working weeks will encourage more meaningful political engagement
In every political campaign headquarters all over the world, special advisors and strategists are working to find new and innovative ways to increase voter turnout. But where do the voters go then? Do they stay involved in the campaign? Do they know the battles fought to deliver what was promised, or the details of why it wasn’t possible this time?
People’s association with organizations that purport to represent their interests – political parties, trade unions, religious institutions, and community-based organizations are at historic lows, as is their trust in government institutions.
Political engagement is a principle, not a hobby
A robust democracy depends on a strong turn-out at elections. However, without participation beyond election time by citizens in political decisions, through consultation, citizens’ panels and forums, and extended deliberative dialogue, the electorate feel totally detached. Low levels of participation have a lot to do with cynicism about the political process, but long hours in paid employment add to the disincentives and help to create a vicious cycle of disengagement.
A report prepared for the Ford Foundation by Hahrie Han a political science professor at the University of California, sets out a framework for how people can participate in the political process in ways that build their sense of agency and encourage further participation:
Means to engage. People must be able to participate. We need to remove barriers to participation and implement policies and procedures that make it easier for people to vote.
Motivated to engage. People must want to participate. It’s not enough for voting to be easy; people have to want to take part.
Meaningful engagement. People must feel their participation actually matters. It must have a tangible impact on policy decisions, and improve people’s lives.
Democracy takes time
Learning about political issues, getting involved in decision-making, joining and supporting political parties, campaigning and voting all take time.
Those who work 40+ hour weeks, participate in family life, social life and take part in a hobby, simply do not have time to engage in their communities in a meaningful way without feeling like they have to sacrifice something else.
Freeing up time for participation will enrich civil society, strengthen democratic processes, and make it easier for voters to hold politicians to account.
What’s really happening with the #4DayWeek trial results
Many of you will have seen the coverage about the success of the #4DayWeek trials, and you might find it hard to get your head around. 😕
You’re working in a busy job, for a busy company, and the idea that you could get your work done as well if not better in four days rather than five … well, it might seem like a bit of a stretch. ⛔️
But have a think about all of the times you’ve been in a meeting and wondered why it was necessary, why it was going on so long, and why you even needed to be there? 🕙
Have a think about all of the times you were in the zone, making real progress on something really important, and you get needlessly interrupted by something that turned out to be insignificant… and how long it took you to get back into your flow.⏳️
Think about how many times you’ve felt that the way you do certain things at your company is outdated, wasteful or just not quite as good as it could be, and that there’s a different, better way to do it.💡
What if I was to tell you that reduced working time is all about questioning things, changing things, and creating the environment that allows you to be more productive at work and in turn to make the company you work for more efficient. 👌
That it’s really about giving you more time to focus on what really matters when you’re at work, so that you have more time to focus on what really matters outside of work. ❤️
In 2022, it shouldn’t be about the performance of hard work, working long hours, wearing it as a badge of honor, and sacrificing the things that really matter in your life, but instead about prioritization and the drivers of real results. 🎯
The real measure of high professional standards should be the ability to produce the same quality in less time. 📏
Reflections on Musk’s ‘hardcore’ Twitter 2.0
We used to allow professional standards to be defined by the length of time you spent at the office, at the desk or on the clock.
We used to enable those who were prepared to sacrifice their time with family, their work-life balance and their wellbeing for their career to wear it as a badge of honor.
The future of work is here, and it has no place for performative renditions of what ‘hard work’ looks like.
💪Working smarter is hardcore.
💪Focusing on the drivers of real results rather than the illusion that working long hours equals greater productivity is hardcore.
💪Embracing a change in mindset and culture rather than doubling down on ‘the way we’ve always done things here’ is hardcore.
💪Producing the same work to the same or a higher standard than your competition in less time is hardcore.
💪Finding efficiencies and unlocked potential in your business and giving your employees their time back in return is hardcore.
It’s time for old-school, machismo leadership to be consigned to the dustbin of history.