No Time to Lose: A Search for Work / Life Balance


How to be a Good Intern by notimetolose

How to be a Good Intern from Libby Page on Vimeo.

Libby Page writes:

This is the trailer for my short film that will be launching in summer 2013, called All Work and No Pay.

For several years unpaid internships have made headlines and created a social media buzz, yet the foundations of the fashion industry are still built on the bricks of unpaid labour.

But how solid are these foundations?

All Work and No Pay argues that we are approaching the tipping point in the internship debate. It will get inside the issue by talking to interns and employers alike and following the campaigners who are pushing to eradicate this unpaid internship epidemic.

THE INDUSTRY SAYS: “We can’t afford to pay our interns.”
LIBBY SAYS: “You can’t afford not to.”

https://vimeo.com/53873238



Growing wealth/income inequality; the greed of other people leading to the over work of others… by notimetolose
December 3, 2010, 11:18 am
Filed under: ideas, take action, videos | Tags: , , , , , , , ,


CSLS releases study on happiness of Canadians by notimetolose
November 29, 2010, 10:57 am
Filed under: events, ideas, publication | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Notice of Release, November 23, 2010

Does Money Matter? Evidence Shows that Mental and Physical Health, Stress, and Sense of Belonging Trump Income as Determinants of the Happiness of Canadians

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) released today a major study on factors influencing the happiness or life satisfaction of Canadians. The report, prepared in partnership with the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity (ICP), was based on data for 70,000 Canadians from Statistics Canada’s Community Health Survey.  It provides a comprehensive analysis of the happiness landscape in Canada, quantifies the many variables that determine happiness, and explains the variation in happiness across provinces, CMAs and health regions.

The key findings of the study are highlighted below.

·         There is relatively little variation in average happiness in Canada both over time and across space. In 2009, 92.1 per cent of the population 12 and over reported that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their lives, compared to 91.4 per cent in 2008, 91.9 per cent in 2007, 91.8 per cent in 2005, and 91.3 per cent in 2003. Based on a scale of 1 to 5, the average level of happiness of the Canadian population 20 and over in 2007-8 was 4.26.

·         At the provincial level, life satisfaction ranged from a high of 4.33 in Prince Edward Island to a low of 4.23 in Ontario, a total range of 0.10 points (2.5 per cent) out of a potential maximum variation of four points. At the level of the 32 CMAs, average happiness ranged from a high of 4.37 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to a low of 4.15 in Toronto, Ontario, a range of 0.22 points or 5.5 per cent. At the level of the 121 health regions, average happiness ranged from a high of 4.42 in Kings County, Prince Edward Island to a low of 4.12 in the City of Toronto Health Unit, a range of 0.30 points or 7.5 per cent.

·         A one-unit increase in perceived mental health (measured on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is poor mental health and 5 is excellent mental health) raises the proportion of individuals that are very satisfied with life by 17.0 percentage points. Said another way, the effect for the average person of a one-unit increase in mental health on happiness is equivalent to the effect of a 309 per cent increase in household income on happiness.

·         Perceived health status was also an economically significant determinant of happiness. A one-unit increase in health status increases the proportion of individuals that are very satisfied with life by 8.8 percentage points. Such a change is equivalent to a 157 per cent increase in household income.

·         High levels of stress level were associated with lower life satisfaction. Specifically, a one-unit increase in stress (measured on a 5-point scale) decreases the proportion of individuals that are very satisfied by 7.7 percentage points. In terms of household income, this is equivalent to the effect of a 136 per cent decrease on happiness for the average person.

·         An individual’s sense of belonging to their local community was also an important determinant of individual life satisfaction. A one-unit increase in sense of belonging (measured on a 4-point scale) increases the proportion of individuals that are very satisfied with life by 6.5 percentage points. Relative to the effect of household income, such a change is equivalent to a 116 per cent increase in income for the average person.

·         Unemployment had a negative impact on people’s happiness. Relative to household income, moving from unemployment to employment has the same impact on happiness as a 151 per cent increase in income for the average person.

·         Although household income was statistically significant at the one per cent level, it carries less economic significance for happiness than the variables highlighted above. Specifically, a ten per cent increase in household income from the mean increases the proportion of individuals that are very satisfied with life by only 0.6 percentage points.

·         Geographical variation in happiness in Canada arises for two main sources: differences in the means of variables associated with life satisfaction and the importance of those variables in the life satisfaction regressions. Although sense of belonging was not the most economically significant variable in our models of life satisfaction, the variation in this variable across geographical units was quite large and this factor was key to explaining regional differences in happiness.

The report provides strong support for the 2009 Stiglitz report commissioned by French President Nicholas Sarkozy that recommended greater emphasis be placed on happiness relative to GDP in the development of public policy.

To address this emerging issue of the role of happiness in public policy, the CSLS and the ICP are organizing a conference on this topic in Ottawa on December 1, 2010. Speakers include John Helliwell, Don Drummond, Mel Cappe, and Alan Nymark.

The program is posted here. To register, click here.


For additional information, please contact:
Andrew Sharpe
Executive Director
Centre for the Study of Living Standards
111 Sparks Street, Suite 500
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5B5
613-233-8891
Fax: 613-233-8250
andrew.sharpe@csls.ca
www.csls.ca



A link I neglected to post earlier.. . by notimetolose
November 1, 2010, 9:56 am
Filed under: ideas | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This reached my inbox via Abby some time ago, but didn’t make it to the blog because I was waiting until I could bring myself to preface it with some commentary. After so many months (many, many month) I find the concept of Family 360 no less repugnant and I figure I’ll just leave the link for someone else to find and comment on.

Example of what is so repugnant:

“The strains within today’s families are taking a serious toll, not only on families themselves, but on workplace productivity and effectiveness.”

All I really have to say is:  “screw workplace productivity” because, when it comes down to it, making money for other people is hardly worth this type of sacrifice.

According to Wikipedia, in the United States at the end of 2001, 10% of the population owned 71% of the wealth and the top 1% owned 38%. On the other hand, the bottom 40% owned less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.[14] It also reports that a  2006 study by the Federal Reserve System shows that, from 1989 to 2004, the distribution in the United States had been changing with indications there was a greater concentration of wealth held by the top 10% and top 1% of the population.[1]

With this in mind, why should anyone focus on fitting their personal life into a business paradigm? Its not going to offer any gain, whatsoever. Instead, we should focus on having a better life. And, if that means spending time with family on terms that are mutually beneficial to all family members without intervention by an employer, then surely that will be more fulfilling and worthwhile.

Here, follow this link and be grossed out even more: http://www.family360.com



“MASHING UP” : Art+Labour … a public conversation by notimetolose
October 19, 2010, 10:03 am
Filed under: activism, events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“MASHING UP” :
Art+Labour
a public conversation

CCA 5
Tue 9th Nov 2010
12.30-6pm

Art+Labour is a public conversation exploring the conditions and experiences of creative labour in the cultural industries – working conditions, pay, working hours; freedom and autonomy, pleasure and obligation; insecurity and uncertainty; social reproduction, networking and isolation – and artists’ organising within it – unions, artists’ associations, or self-organised studio/exhibition spaces.

What diverse forms of employment do artists undertake? Who are their employees? How secure and how flexible are these forms of employment? What are the conditions of employment and how are these changing? What can we say of artists’ autonomy in relation to contemporary labour practices? How do cultural workers effectively organise around labour issues? What would it mean for artists to withdraw their labour in defence of conditions in one’s primary or secondary employment? With successive governments’ emphasis on arts’ social function, how does communality express itself in competitive Creative Industries? What is industrial about the Creative Industries; where do ‘Cultural’ producers sit within the policy frame of the ‘Creative’ Industries? How do we as cultural producers recognise our own positions and dependency on/within/alongside the public sector? With the entrepreneurial restructuring of the arts in Scotland and in the face of selective public sector cuts throughout the UK, how constructive are artists’ isolated appeals for a state of exception? What is so unique about artists in the social factory?

These are some of the questions to be addressed during this public conversation. The discussion is open to anyone – cultural workers, artists, students, interns, precarious and self-organised labour affiliated to academia – concerned with issues of art, labour and economics. The event will begin with a series of short position statements from invited speakers followed by discussion among panelists and audience.

Panelists include:

  • Angela McRobbie
    Professor of Communications, Dept. of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths
  • Scottish Artists Union
    The representative voice for artists in Scotland
  • Graham Jeffery
    Reader: Music and Performance, The School of Creative and Cultural Industries, UWS
  • Katarzyna Kosmala
    Reader, Centre for Contemporary European Studies, UWS
  • Gesa Helms
    Researcher & artist
  • Brett Bloom
    Member of Chicago-based art collective Temporary Services who recently produced ‘Art Work : A national conversation about art, labour, and economics’
  • Owen Logan
    Researcher, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen
  • Facilitated by Gordon Asher
    Effective Learning Tutor, UWS Centre for Academic & Professional Development

Event is free but ticketed, tickets available from CCA Box Office:
CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD
tel : +44 (0)141 352 4900
http://www.cca-glasgow.com



“Vijay Monany on fascinating work instead of retirement” by notimetolose
September 10, 2010, 1:08 pm
Filed under: ideas, news articles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

There is nothing enlightened about this proposal and the ulterior motive is remarkably transparent.

Why on earth should people be enticed to continue generating profit for others through their labour? Indeed, wages continue to fall despite profits in a number of sectors (mainly banks). Much work is also related to continuing the ecologically destructive cycle of consumption.

People should have the chance to pursue their own range of  interests without external pressures such as bosses, sales quotas, meetings, deadlines, or overtaxing workloads due to reduced staffing. Furthemrore, people should be bal eto pursue their own interests withou being a slave to economic interest as defined by others.

Reposted from: euro|topics 09/09/2010

Le Monde – France
Vijay Monany on fascinating work instead of retirement
If the French have recently striked and demonstrated en masse against the government’s plan to raise the retirement age to 62, it’s because their working environment doesn’t offer them all it should, writes Vijay Monany from the management consulting firm Khampus in the daily Le Monde: “The reason why the French prefer retirement to work is exactly the same as why they prefer holidays to work. … They are bored by their work, and they develop their interests outside of work. The real paradox is that it’s only when they retire that people feel their life is starting, that they can take control of their destiny and read, travel, follow their interests, or spend time with their friends. … One day we’ll understand that social progress does not consist in stringing together weeks of holiday, reducing the number of working hours or lowering the retirement age. One day we will understand that true progress consists in making work so interesting that there will be no difference between it and leisure time. One day we’ll see that the solution to pension reform consists in rendering work so fascinating that no one wants to retire.” (08/09/2010)
» full article (external link, French)
More from the press review on the subject » Trade unions, » Social affairs, » Labour, » France
All available articles from » Vijay Monany



Latest links by notimetolose

Since concern about work/life balance — rather the growing lack of it! — seems to have only grown since NTTL was presented at Peacock Visual Arts in 2008, I’ve decided to continue posting links and other information here as part of an ongoing commitment to this project.

Here are a few items that have come up recently, that I’d like to add…

1) Another exhibition

Workers Leaving the Workplace exhibition curated by Joanna Sokolowska– Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz – 06.07 – 05.09.2010

The point of departure for the exhibition are contemporary changes of labour and production referred to by researches as „post-fordism” and connected with the development of the global information society and economy based on services and knowledge. This model of economy has extended the traditional borders of productivity by a complex and diverse set of social, intellectual, emotional and communicative processes, thus leading to engagement of workers` and consumers` subjectivity into cycles of production and reproduction of capital beyond fixed hierarchies and categories. Labour viewed from this perspective becomes biopolitics: management of life, creating its new forms. Productivity enters areas it used to be separated from: these of free time, entertainment, aesthetic experiences, social involvement, political action and housework. The requirements of constant efficiency, self-education and flexibility in adjusting to the constantly changing conditions also known today as self-improvement have caused us not to cease producing capital even after leaving our workplace.

The exhibition will debate three main intertwining themes: industrial labour, broadened and hybrid character of contemporary productivity, an artist‘s work and economy. The works focused on industry or its remnants will examine labour processes connected to the factory incorporated into immaterial flows of meaning, that determine in fact entire production cycles. The artists who position labour within the wide field of social and generic activities will particularly concentrate on an ambivalent, flexible and elusive dimension of work today, which often makes the worker function on the verge between self-realization and (self)exploitation. To what extent are the artistic practices – operating with and reprocessing after all images and meanings – reliant on the current transformations of capitalism? What kind of economies might be conceived by the artists, what is their potential to break away from the dominant modes of production?

In relation to the exhibition two new works are being prepared: Janek Simon’s project at Alaba International Market in Nigeria and “The History of the Bomb” by Roman Dziadkiewicz

The Workers Leaving the Workplace project further develops some questions raised by the exhibition Arbeiter verlassen die Arbeitsstätte at the Galerie für Zeitgenőssische Kunst in Leipzig in 2009.

Artists: Joseph Beuys, Rafał Bujnowski, Roman Dziadkiewicz, Miklós Erhardt, Harun Farocki, Aleksandar Batista Ilić (in collaboration with Ivana Keser and Tomislave Gotovac) Kristina Inčiūraitė, Piotr Jaros, Ali Kazma, Jean-Luc Moulène, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Peter Piller, Martha Rosler, Mika Rottenberg, Janek Simon, Škart, Mladen Stilinović, Mona Vătămanu & Florin, Tudor, Ingo Vetter, Haegue Yang, Artur Żmijewski

For more information, contact: Joanna Sokolowska — j.sokolowska@msl.org.pl — or visit http://www.msl.org.pl/


2) Creepy news that is not about being flexible but rather about justifying cuts to social security

“British should set their own retirement age”, The Times (UK) via eurotopics

The British government plans to prevent employers from retiring employees aged 65 who want to go on working. The daily The Times is delighted: “In earlier decades, when employment was dominated by manufacturing, workers were a drag on productivity as they became physically weaker. But in an economy characterised by the provision of services and the application of knowledge, older workers contribute far more. A default retirement age is neither a boon to them nor a way of improving the productivity of the workforce. On the contrary, it adds to one burden that an ageing society does impose, namely the expanding costs of pension provision. The proposal to abolish the DRA would ameliorate that problem by its symbolism. In indicating that older workers have an important contribution to the world of work, the Government may persuade many of them to stay within it. They will pay taxes as well as draw pensions.” (30/07/2010)

3) Omega Interventions: Burnout-Performance

For more info, visit: http://www.rebelart.net/diary/omega-interventions-burnout-performance/005820/

4) They don’t because they can’t…

Canadians not using their vacation time
Talbot Boggs, The Canadian Press
(Special) – Canadians aren’t getting enough – vacations that is.

“A new Harris/Decima poll has found that although Canadian workers have an average of 19.68 days a year off, almost one quarter don’t use all their vacation time and give back an average of 2.17 days.

The most common reasons Canadians give for not using their full vacation time include not scheduling their vacation well enough in advance, they are too busy to get away or their significant others are not able to get away from their jobs.”

Read more: http://finance.sympatico.ca/home/canadians_not_using_their_vacation_time_/125050dd