15 Hour Workweek, Work-Life Balancing 15!

The 15 Movement, by J&P

Simply aiming for a more focused and modern work-life balance including:

  • Live Now, Not Later.
    • While you can, if/when get sick, it can be over.
  • Do what you Want, minimize what you Have to.
  • From some baseline of around working 40 hours per week*, aim is ‘more towards 15 than 60’.
  • More time for and with relatives and friends.

*) A majority of countries do have 40 hrs/wk. US and North Korea 47 hrs and 48 hrs respectively are in top ten of countries where people work longest hours per week. (Yeah, just had to write that sentence like that, grouping together those two countries….) Source: wikipedia: Workweek and weekend, and ref#3 in reference materials (KEY20210629A)

Side-note: In the US there is also a movement (since many years when write this in 2021) for trying to raise the minimum wage to US$ 15/hr. (wikipedia: Fight for $15, which will be part of results if search on any form of ’15 movement – google 15 movement)

15 Klubben, 15 Club

Informal club of members who shares tips and techniques for a healthy work-life balance.

Membership is through personal invitation only.

Background – Modern People Work a Lot

It was a very rainy 4th of July weekend and some time was spent on philosophy after listening to a quite interesting podcast opinion piece:

2021-06-29 Opinion | Why Do We Work So Damn Much? – The New York Times
Hunter-gatherers worked 15-hour weeks. Why don’t we?
On “The Ezra Klein Show,” the anthropologist James Suzman shares his insights from studying one of the world’s enduring hunter-gatherer societies, and discusses our modern obsession with work.
Materials gathered by J&P include article in MP3 audio and transcript text in PDF format. Contact your J&P Friend for access, ask for KEY20210629A.
Hunter-Gatherer spent 15 hrs on hunting and 15 hrs on prepping etc = 30 hrs tot, per week, for maintaining life.
   * work 15 hours a week, for “hunting-gather”, i.e. go to work
   * another 15 hours a week for food preparations, taking care of household, house, …
   Wait, that’s only 30 hours, less than the “regular’ “40-hour work week”, and even longer workweeks in the US
   And those 30 hrs INCLUDE all house chores.
Comparable number, by guesstimates by J in J&P Group, for a Modern Worker: 80 hrs.
Brief table to highlight figures, modern era workers, boss, and mislead executives (the ones definitely regretting working too much on their deathbed (#2 in regrets (jandp.biz/fun/philosophy/rr/), worked too much) and hunter-gatherer, 80 hrs modern worker versus 30 hrs hunter-gatherer:



Vara ute o fiska, jaga, plocka bär osv några timmar per dag (15/7 är ungefär 2 hr/dag).
Tillagande av mat, städande, reparation av verktyg, etc: också några timmar per dag.
Resten är upp till dig att göra vad du vill med tiden.
Varning: mer tillgångar (hus, bilar, båtar, saker i allmänhet) = betyder mer overhead (tid) för att underhålla dessa.
Så, med detta i åtanke har J&P Group också satt ihop en mer avancerad vy på hur tid kan bli använd av olika kategorier av människor och åldrar.
Från Kids till Retiree, med exempel på nått form av mål att sträva efter.
(Obs: det var inte på något sätt nått mål att Kids och Goal fick samma “Free”-tid, 101 timmar per vecka. Det bara föll sig så av valda guesstimates för olika aktiviteter som användes i tabellen. Men, med tanke på hur siffrorna föll sig så är det säkert något undermedvetet i det hela.)
Se bifogat dokument AllocationOfTime-HowAreYouSpendingYourLife.pdf, “Allocation of Time – How Are YOU Spending Your Life?”
Oh, på området *tillgångar* så har NY Times artikeln också intressant diskussion runt “demand sharing”, ‘allt ditt är mitt’, ‘och mitt är allas’, “a functional way of distributing resources within a society”.
Lite bra exemplifiering hur kapitalt annorlunda funktionen av att producera och konsumera saker kan vara. Som motpol till vårt extrema konsumtionssamhälle som tär på alla våra naturresurser.
Full document with table above and more comments – AllocationOfTime-HowAreYouSpendingYourLife.pdf

J The Philosopher




Note: in general, discussions on this topic commonly use hours PER WEEK as unit.

The graphic below takes the hours figures used in Hours per Week graphic (above) and divide each by 5, and using ‘5’ for two primary reasons:

  1. Will make the 40 hrs per week at work correspond to 8 hrs per day, the more common workweek for many workers in industrialized countries.
  2. Makes the two graphics – per Week and per Day look the same, just hours numbers shown are different.

BUT, trying to convert a Week-view into a Day-view becomes actually way more complicated than what one first may think…

  • Dividing all figures in Per Week data by 5 to get some Per Day data really isn’t working correctly from a mathematical view (must use 7 days per week to get maths to match up).
    • Just that using 7 instead creates “weird” day-numbers (40 hrs work / 7 = 5.7, not the 8 hrs / day as one ‘would expect’)
    • Adding up number in the Week view DO add up correctly to 168 hrs per week (7*24) but adding up numbers as shown in Day view (graphic below) adds up to 33.6 hrs/day (the 168 hrs per week / 5 = 33.6, which should be 168/7 = 24, but which would mess up graphical representation and make Week and Day views look very different)
  • Ok, 40 hours work per week is common norm for workers today, but can have a number of special cases one should consider, like
    • A Hunter-Gatherer would hunt/work more like every day, 7 days a week, and thus his 15 hrs/week should then be more like 2 hrs per day ‘at work’ (15/7 = 2.1)
    • And it’s actually ONLY the Agro Worker that would have a more controlled, defined, workweek of (e.g.) 5 days, all other categories (like Agro Kid, Agro Student, etc) would have more flexibility and work would be spread out over the whole 7-days week.
  • (Same logic goes for Work Overhead – only applies to days actually worked.)
  • To make any Per Day representation of how time could be spent Per Day one should actually better use different dividers for both different categories of people and different activities. Something maybe like:
    • Agro Worker, Work and Work Overhead: divider 5, for 5 days workweek
    • Hunter-Gatherer, correspondingly: divider 7, as hunt every day
    • et c
    • (Altogether, a completely different approach may be better. Start with looking at each day and estimate time per people category and activity, work through each in week, and get figures that matches up to expectations, like 8 hrs work / per day. Though, graphic representations of Week v Day will be very different. Pros and cons with every approach.)

I.e. be careful with digesting the graphic below!


Work-Life Balance

Source: A presentation by a D Fernandez, College instructor Cavite State University


Work Productivity – Or Lack Thereof…

You see? Productivity-wise, “we” as societies are already there, white-collar seems to produce about, or actually slightly less than, what a 15 hours per week would achieve, 15 hours dedicated work and not hanging around the water cooler, …

Reading the Fine Print [in legal documents, like SW licenses]…

Btw, one thing that UK and US share is they both have common law system and how much time is spent – or should be spent – by reading all fine prints in legal dealings, including reading those web cookies statements and selecting which ones you want to accept or not, license agreements for the softwares your using.

(Where contracts in civil law systems can be 5 pages – as the details are hard-written in law texts, corresponding paperwork in common law can easily be 100 pages – as all details must be sorted out in each legal document; laws are more guidelines, all this from multiple personal real cases by J&P Group who deals in both law systems.)

Hey, it really easy to see productivity falling through the floor! Actually taking time and reading fine prints and I wonder if can even achieve any 2 hrs 48 min in the US, or 2 hrs 53 min in UK, …..

(There is an OAS touching on the subject of Science-Laws-Politics-and-more Venn Diagram, OAS 180007, which can be used to consider / evaluate / investigate how time is spent by an individual or organization. How much time each day is spent on “Science” – read/interpret as Real-Work/Productive work, then how much time due to laws/legal systems, politics, disruptions and handling of “alternative facts”, and so on.)


Workweek – Some Countries’ Statistics

Source: data from en.wikipedia.org/wikiWorkweek_and_weekend

SOME examples:

  • 35 hrs – France, Kuwait
  • 37 hrs – Denmark
  • 37.5 hrs – Norway, United Kingdom
  • 38 hrs – Australia, Belgium, Finland
  • 38.5 hrs – Austria, Germany, Surinam
  • 40 hrs – some 90 countries,
    • Europe: (e.g.) majority of EU countries including Ireland, Italy, Greece, Sweden, …
    • North America: (e.g.) Canada, Mexico, and US
  • 41 hrs – Switzerland
  • 42 hrs – China
  • 48 hrs – Costa Rica, Colombia, India, North Korea, …
  • 50 hrs – Burundi and Cameron

8-Hour Day

Vacation – Some Countries’ Statistics

While on topic of statistics and data about countries around our world – here’s a bit on annual leave.


From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_annual_leave_by_country: (Sortable table, click on header.)

Country Paid vacation days Paid public holidays Total paid leave
Australia 20 10 30
Brazil 10-22 12 22-34
Canada 10-20 6-10 16-30
China 5-15 11 16-26
Denmark 🇩🇰 25 11 36
EU, minimum 20 0 20
Finland 🇫🇮 25 11 36
France 25-37 11 36-58
Germany 20 10 30
Ireland 20 9 29
Italy 20 12 32
Mexico 6 7 13
Norway 🇳🇴 25 10 35
Spain 22 11 33
Sweden 🇸🇪 25 9 34
United Kingdom 20 8-10 28
United States 🇺🇸 0 (Yes, Zero) 0 0

United States: “There is no federal or state statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays. Paid leave is at the discretion of the employers to its employees.[187][188] According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 77% of private employers offer paid vacation to their employees; full-time employees earn on average 10 vacation days after one year of service.[189] Similarly, 77% of private employers give their employees paid time off during public holidays, on average 8 holidays per year.[189][190] Some employers offer no vacation at all.[191] The average number of paid vacation days offered by private employers is 10 days after 1 year of service, 14 days after 5 years, 17 days after 10 years, and 20 days after 20 years.[189][192]


Time Management

Source: protradeunited.com.au/the-four-quadrants-of-time-management/



996 Culture – 72 Hour Workweek, and Tang ping (China)

Last section and more a parentheses, example of What Not to Aim For!! What kills people prematurely.

On the other side of work-life spectrum, from commonly 40 hrs per week, and more human aim towards 15 hrs, we have China with some companies having 72 hour workweeks.

“The 996 working hour system (Chinese996工作制) is a work schedule practiced by some companies in the People’s Republic of China. It derives its name from its requirement that employees work from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, 6 days per week; i.e. 72 hours per week.” [wikipedia]

How the 996-culture could be looking like:


Assumptions/data used for illustrating 996-culture:

  • Similar hours sleep as Adult agro, suspect figure could actually be lower
  • 72 hors workweek, 9a-to-9p, 6 days a week
  • 6 x 2 hrs for overhead, corresponding commute as other industrious areas (1 hr, but 6 days instead of 5 per week)
  • Using same 30 hrs / week for prepare-consume-maintain things, similar to any adult in Agro culture.
  • Using 5 hrs for variable prep-cons-maintain, half of as in agro,adult (assuming less assets)
  • 7 hrs for reserve (half of agro, adult), essentially to provide ANY free time
  • All this results in 7 hrs free time per week. Which is probably questionable and would be actually more sleep.

Tang ping – the Anti-Movement


The Great Resignation (2021-) (US, prim.)

Movement that really took of in the second year of Corona.

  • 2019-Dec, first case identified en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19
  • 2020: First year, countries and companies started shutting down during the spring
  • 2021: 2nd year, The Great Resignation starts
  • 2022 Q1: first signs of more global re-opening of countries (e.g. in Europe, New Zealand which has had among the stricter and longer restrictions, closed borders even for own citizens)

“The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit,[2] is an economic trend in which employees voluntarily resign from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021, primarily in the United States.” [wikipedia]

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Resignation
  • google.com/search?q=the+great+resignation
  • “Toxic Culture Is Driving the Great Resignation”, MIT Sloan 2022-01-11 [link] [PDF]
    • Top predictors for happening
      • Toxic corporate culture – 10.4 times more like to contribute to attrition than compensation
        • Duh, and not a surprise in the US …
      • Job insecurity and reorganization – 3.5 times
        • Nor really surprise in the US …
      • High levels of Innovation – 3.2 times
        • This was / is a surprise, that people are leaving at HIGHER rate a*AT* innovative companies (but explanation is higher demands, working longer hours, et c)
      • Failure to recognize employee performance- 2.9 times
        • failure to distinguish between high performers and laggards
      • Poor response to COVID-19- 1.8 times
        • The same pattern holds true when employees talk more generally about their company’s policies for protecting their health and well-being.
    • Short-Term Steps for Companies to Increase Retention
      • Lateral career opportunities
      • Remote work arrangements
      • Company-sponsored social events
      • Offering predictable schedules


Re-Opening, Post Covid-19

Put here and with a Swedish reference, in Swedish, as a little bit indirect comparison to The Great Resignation and it’s more US-phenomena. There are limited similar as-significant events in Sweden – and would put that to the fact the Swedish employer – employee market  is way more in balance, much more negotiations, with or without any involvement of any employee organizations, than US and employer been the party deciding much more. Traditionally. The future will be interesting.

  • Exempel på hur Sverige’s arbetsmarknad ser ut att kunna förändras.
    Intressant artikel i DN 2022-02-09,
    ‘Sverige öppnar – men vissa saker blir inte som förr’ [länk, PDF]

    1. Bostadsmarknaden
      (bl.a.) p.g.a. mer distansarbete, flexibility från arbetsgivare:

      1. Mer efterfrågan på större hus/boendet
      2. Mindre efterfrågan på central beläget
    2. Företagandet
    3. Arbetsmarknaden
    4. Störningar i ekonomin och inflationshot
  • Article(s) in English will be added once stumble upon a worthy one


12,000 years ago…