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'Long Hours' work culture; Empty labour

Laurie Taylor explores how and why some employees spend large percentages of their day engaged in private pursuits. Also, the professionals caught up in a 'long hours' work culture.

Empty labour - international statistics suggest that the average time an employee spends engaged in private activities is 1 and a half to 2 hours a day. Laurie Taylor talks to Roland Paulsen, a Swedish sociologist, who interviewed 43 workers who spent around half their working hours on 'empty labour'. Are such employees merely 'slacking' or are such little' subversions' acts of resistance to the way work appropriates so much of our time? They're joined by the writer, Michael Bywater. By contrast, Jane Sturges, discusses her research into professionals caught up, both reluctantly as well as willingly, in a 'long hours' work culture.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

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28 minutes

Roland Paulsen

Sociologist, Department of Sociology at Uppsala University

Find out more about Roland Paulsen


Dissertation: Empty Labor: Subjectivity and Idleness at Work


Empty Labor: Idleness and Workplace Resistance

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN-10: 1107066417

ISBN-13: 978-1107066410

Michael Bywater

Writer and broadcaster 



Find out more about Michael Bywater



Lost Worlds: What Have We Lost and Where Did it Go?

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN-10: 1862077983

ISBN-13: 978-1862077980

Jane Sturges

Reader in Organisational Behaviour, King’s College London



Find out more about Dr Jane Sturges



Abstract: A matter of time: young professionals’ experiences of long work hours

Work Employment & Society April 2013 vol. 27 no. 2

pp. 351-367

ISSN: 0950-0170



  • Wed 5 Jun 2013 16:00
  • Mon 10 Jun 2013 00:15

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