O algodão não engana…

Um amigo mandou-me um artigo da Economist de 19 de Julho onde se avalia o mercado de trabalho britânico nos seguintes termos:

British workers are rebelling against long hours in the office
THE economy has slowed down but the labour market remains resilient. The latest figures show that unemployment has fallen and employment has risen. The ratio of employment to the working-age population is close to its all-time high. The government is both proud of this and worried that Britons work too hard. Pushing the “work-life balance” agenda, Patricia Hewitt, the trade and industry secretary, says that Britain’s “long-hours culture” is “macho” and “old-fashioned
“.

Um governo preocupado com o trabalho excessivo dos seus cidadãos é já de si uma notícia a destacar mas há, mais adiante, uma frase que nos interessa… Segue-se uma análise comparativa dos hábitos laborais no continente e no Reino Unido e a páginas tantas lê-se isto:

Looking at both part-time and full-time workers, the contrast with the EU becomes less marked. Taking into account holidays, average working hours are higher than in most European equivalents but lower than in Greece, Spain and Portugal.

Meus amigos… Alguém se deve ter enganado nas contas… Ou será que não?

Bom, para terminar mais uns parágrafos desta insuspeita revista liberal dedicados a quem fizer o favor de enfiar o barrete:

The government, by going on about the “work-life balance” may have helped persuade people that staying at home isn’t necessarily skiving. Attitudes among graduates are changing. “They are less willing to devote life and soul to their companies in their early years,” says Nigel Meager, deputy director of the Institute for Employment Studies.

Looked at in the long term, there’s nothing odd about this. Over the past 100 years (see chart) people have worked less and less as they have chosen to take some of the rewards of rising prosperity in the form of more leisure. It was the 1980s and early 1990s, as professionals first stepped up their work effort and then stuck at their desks in the hope of keeping their jobs, that were an aberration. Now workers are reverting to a familiar pattern, and sloping off from the office earlier and earlier. The government’s campaign for the work-life balance looks redundant: life is winning

Life is winning in the UK! Que esta novidade não demore 20 anos a chegar cá…

Clocking off

Jul 17th 2003
From The Economist print edition