Oh, Well. So much for the European model
Anita Sharpe on Business
Just when many workaholic Americans and their employers were being swayed that the Old Country might be on to something with their six weeks of vacation and 35-hour work weeks, the Europeans change their minds.
According to a front-page story in today's New York Times, companies in Britain and on the Continent are lengthening work weeks and trimming bonuses used for vacations.
'We have created a leisure society, while the Americans have created a work society,' Klaus F. Zimmermann, president of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, told the Times. 'But our model does not work anymore. We are in the process of rethinking it.'
Not surprisingly, most of the companies doing the rethinking are manufacturers.
My guess is the future holds multiple models for both Americans and Europeans: longer hours and less personal control for those who work primarily with their hands in commodity businesses; and, much like now, considerably more freedom for those who work mostly with their minds in creative industries.