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‘Weisure’ Revolution to Change 9-5 Workday

Posted May. 29, 2009 07:13,   


“Weisure,” a combination of the terms “work” and “leisure,” is often mentioned by news reports and blogs.

New York University sociology professor Dalton Conley first used the term in his latest book “Elsewhere, U.S.A.”

The term is fast spreading amid the rise of a campaign to balance work and life in advanced economies such as the United States and Japan to improve quality of life.

Conley predicts work and lifestyle for people will significantly change from the typical 9-5 workday thanks to the development of wireless technology. This, however, does not necessarily mean just working from home.

Wherever they are, people can work immediately using a Smartphone or laptop PC, including while shopping or at sea on a yacht. In a weisure society, people can work and play at the same time around the clock.

Critics warn that as the divide between work and rest will be blurred, productivity will decline. Conley downplays this fear, however, saying cutting-edge technology such as the Internet can reduce wasted time and increase work volume, while lifting constraints on time and place.

In the United States, separating public affairs and privacy has been emphasized. In an era when work and leisure are combined, the capacity to balance the two elements harmoniously will become more important.

Human networks and relations will also see change. Conley predicts that human and social relations will embrace a major shift in American society, where individualism has prevailed.

People can hold meetings via mobile phones and online chat with their colleagues, while traveling with their families. They can also become business partners or colleagues with others they met through Web social clubs such as Facebook and online games.

Conley said it is problematic that work has gained too much weight in life following the Industrial Revolution, predicting that weisure will catch on in daily life.

He told CNN that as the economy has developed, working hours have also increased in tandem, so more Americans seek to save time by handling both work and leisure at the same time.