Douglas Coupland: ‘The nine to five is barbaric’

Jon Card in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_2663 Apr. 07 17.02“The nine to five is barbaric. I really believe that. I think one day we will look back at nine-to-five employment in a similar way to how we see child labour in the 19th century,” he says. “The future will not have the nine till five. Instead, the whole day will be interspersed with other parts of your life. Scheduling will become freeform.”

In the same way the industrial revolution led to the creation of the weekend as a break from work, the cloud is altering our work schedule, Coupland says. He points to developments in Silicon Valley, where companies such as Facebook encourage staff to work from home on Wednesdays. Coupland explains that avoiding the San Francisco Bay area commute was part of the reason for this, but getting away from meetings and office politics is the most popular aspect of it with staff. “In the future, every day of the week is going to be a Wednesday. There will be no more weekends, it’ll be one smooth flow. I wish I could say that in the future there will be no meetings, but there will always be meetings.”

The demise of jobs will be unsettling for people both staff and employers, Coupland notes. No one really wants to be trapped in a job, but people still crave structure, he says. “Do people want to be in a job-job? God, no! But while most people like the notion of free time, actually having to deal with it is horrible. It’s a deal with the devil. At least when they’re employed they don’t have to do deal with the freefall; the nothingness of free time.”

More here.