Over the last few years, quite a few studies have come out that discuss the benefits of working few hours and the drawbacks of working a lot of hours. Governments and companies have been taking note. Several companies in Sweden have made trials of reducing the work week to 30 hours – while keeping pay the same. Shinzo Abe has recently pledged to reduce working hours in Japan, where many salaried workers are expected to work very long hours without little or no compensation for extra time. Several American companies are experimenting with giving workers three day weekends or reducing work hours.
The studies are fairly conclusive. Working fewer hours (i.e., 25-30 hours per week) results in greater physical and mental health. The more hours a person puts in a week, the greater the strain on both body and mind, and the more likely he or she is to have to take time off. Fewer work hours by the individual means more people can be employed, thus taking them off welfare. However, unless companies cut salaries as well as cutting hours, the idea is not cost-effective. Few workers are willing to see their salaries cut, especially with the cost of living rising.
We are likely to see many more studies aimed at discovering the best work/life balance over the next few years. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, in historical numerology, the world runs on cycles of nine years. We are currently in world cycle 225. If we then take those cycles and turn them into groups of nine cycles, we have grand world cycles. Currently, we are in grand world cycle 25, a 7 cycle. This cycle started in 1945. The 7 indicates that we are striving to analyze and understand things. It also indicates a focus on math, science, technology, and metaphysics. The 2 suggests that much of the analysis focuses on interpersonal relationships and communication. The 5 indicates adaptability, curiosity, change, and travel. Thus, one focus for our collective analysis is finding the best methods for interacting with each other. (You might notice that the development of a worldwide communications system is indicated as well.)
Our next grand world cycle starts in 2026, and it is cycle 26 – an 8 cycle. The 8 indicates business, money, and status. The 2 still indicates a focus on interpersonal relationships and communication. The 6 indicates responsibility and duty – not just to work, but to those close to us, especially family. Thus, the work/life balance will become increasingly important. You might say that these studies are intended to find the best way to start the next cycle.