For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

The Future of Work: A Guide to a Changing Society

by Handy, Charles B (1984)


Whatever politicians say, the world of full-time employment for all has vanished. In The Future of Work, Charles Handy faces up to the facts and to the positive possibilities of the future. What do people want from work? Handy′s analysis of the real function, as well as the future, of work takes in the history - the values of the ancient Greeks, the Protestant work ethic included - and the psychology of today′s workers and jobless. Should jobs be the soel provider of interest and satisfaction, stability, money and people to meet? Could we survive without the social control, wealth creation and tax-income they bring in? Handy believes that the future must be worked for now. he argues powerfully for new forms of work - for more part-time work and shorter careers, for more voluntary and co-operative work, for more respect for work in the home and the community. He sets out the possibilities, both good and bad, for self-employment, and for organizing work federally, contractually or in the Japanese style. The broad sweep of The Future of Work takes in the education the workforce of the future needs, and how to organize it - right up to the moment of training for an early retirement. Handy looks at how tomorrow′s work will affect tomorrow′s families, and what part the unions will have to pay. His book calls for a re-examination of our priorities and a wider perspective on the biggest problem this nation faces - before society is torn apart in a bitter struggle between those who have jobs, and those who do not.


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