Should we all be lazier? Why everyday idleness could save the world

With the UK currently facing fresh waves of strike action across various sectors, it’s perhaps worth casting our minds back to some of the successes that industrial action has enjoyed over the years. In 1884, notably, an English trade unionist by the name of Tom Mann published a pamphlet offering a radical proposal: “Eight hours of work, eight hours of rest, eight hours of what we will.” Despite claims to the contrary from US country songwriters, the emergent nine-to-five template did appear to finally offer a balance of taking and giving. Why then, almost 140 years later, does it feel like we have so little time to ourselves?

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