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.”

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
Fax: 613-233-8250

Time/Bank by notimetolose

e-flux is pleased to launch Time/Bank: a platform initiated by Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle, where groups and individuals can pool and trade time and skills, bypassing money as a measure of value. Time/Bank is based on the premise that everyone in the field of culture has something to contribute and that it is possible to develop and sustain an alternative economy by connection existing needs with unacknowledged resources.

The origins of time-based currency can be traced both to the American anarchist Josiah Warren, who ran the Cincinnati Time Store from 1827 until 1830, and to the British industrialist and philanthropist Robert Owen, who founded the utopian “New Harmony” community which banned money. The first successful contemporary time bank was started in 1991 by Paul Glover in Ithaca, New York. Following his idea, people began to exchange time, which led to the creation of a time-based currency—the “Ithaca Hours,” which even local businesses began to accept, and which still flourishes. Time banking and service exchange have since developed into a full-fledged movement, usually centered around local communities.

Time/Bank at e-flux is modeled on existing time banks. Every Time/Bank transaction will allow individuals to request, offer, and pay for services in “Hour Notes.” When a task is performed, the credit hours earned may be saved and used at a later date, given to another person, or contributed towards developing larger communal projects. For example, if you happen to be in Beijing or Hamburg and need someone to help you shop for materials or translate a press release, you would be able to draw on resources from Time/Bank without exchanging any money.

Through Time/Bank, we hope to create an immaterial currency and a parallel micro-economy for the cultural community, one that is not geographically bound, and that will create a sense of worth for many of the exchanges that already take place within the art field—particularly those that do not produce commodities and often escape the structures that validate only certain forms of exchange as significant or profitable.

To open a time bank account, please register at

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 — — or visit

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:

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:

It’s finally here! by notimetolose
April 12, 2010, 4:37 pm
Filed under: artists, contemporary art, publication | Tags: , , , , ,

Our publication, No Time to Lose: A Search for Work/Life Balance, has finally arrived!

Staff at PVA report that it looks great! My copy should be reaching me by mail in a few weeks.

Information about how to order your very own copy coming soon!!

UK work time opt-out under threat by notimetolose
December 26, 2008, 5:23 pm
Filed under: news articles | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It is worth noting that corporate employers prefer to pay overtime because it costs less than hiring additional workers. This is not something they prefer because it provides them a chance to “give back” to society by allowing people to work as many hours as they wish.

Furthermore, if hours were better distributed, more people would be employed, thus relieving a fair amount of the economic disparity we see now. That is better for everyone.

Reposted from:
Published: 2008/12/17 13:59:01 GMT // © BBC MMVIII

Britain has moved a step closer to being forced to limit the working week to 48 hours for all employees.

Euro MPs have voted in favour of ending Britain’s opt-out from the EU working time directive.

Britain is determined to keep the opt-out and will now start talks with EU ministers in an effort to keep it.

The UK does not have a veto on the issue but it is expected to join forces with other countries who back its position in order to get its way.

A decision is expected early next year following “conciliation” talks with the European council of ministers.

Junior doctors

If Britain is forced to axe its opt-out, the law will come into force in three years’ time.

Gary Titley, leader of Labour’s MEPs, who voted to keep the opt-out, said the two sides were so far apart on the issue that the talks would probably end in stalemate and the opt-out would continue.

“Continuing with the status quo is the most likely outcome,” Mr Titley told BBC News, adding that unlike many of his Labour colleagues he believed maximum working hours should be set at a national level.

But Mats Persson, of pressure group Open Europe, which campaigns to keep the opt-out, said there was a chance Britain would be overruled, as it had been in the past on the issue of junior doctors’ hours.

MEPs voted in favour of scrapping the opt-out by 421 votes to 273, with the majority of Labour MEPs voting to axe it, in defiance of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Shadow business secretary Alan Duncan said: “On the day when unemployment rose above 1.8 million, Gordon Brown’s MEPs have voted resoundingly against the opt-out that helps to protect British jobs.

“Reducing the flexibility of our labour market going into what even government ministers are calling the deepest recession we have ever faced, is an economic madness that only the Labour Party would be capable of.”


Thousands of trade union members marched on the European Parliament to urge an end to the opt-out, ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

And leaders of the UK’s biggest union, Unite, urged British MEPs to “stop the UK’s long hours culture”.

But on Monday business minister Pat McFadden told the BBC it would be a mistake to end the opt-out during an economic downturn when people might need to work extra hours.

HAVE YOUR SAY They couldn’t have picked a worse time to try to stop people working when they need to. How about letting the person decide how long they want to work? Winston, UK

The exemption from the working time directive was negotiated by the Conservative government in 1993 and is used to some extent by other member states, for members of the medical profession for example, although the UK is the only country which has opted out of it altogether.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat MEPs say the opt-out should continue but Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans and the Green Party’s two British MEPs are also against it.

Open Europe estimated ending it in 2011 – as some MEPs want – would cost the UK economy between £47.4bn and £66.45bn by 2020.

CBI deputy director general John Cridland said European Parliament amendments which would stop people being able to choose to work more than 48 hours would “replace opportunity with obstruction”.

“If your partner has lost their job, should Brussels stop you from putting in extra overtime to support your family?,” he said.

But the unions argue it is a health and safety issue.

Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley said: “Tired, overstretched workers are not productive workers and are putting themselves and others at risk, such as in the transport industry where we know, for instance, that tired drivers are more dangerous than drunk drivers.”

New Poll Shows Strong American Support for a Paid Vacation Law by notimetolose
July 7, 2008, 7:48 pm
Filed under: activism, ideas | Tags: , , , ,

Reposted from Take Back Your Time’s recent email dated July 7, 2008


Dear TAKE BACK YOUR TIME supporter:

Instead of this month’s newsletter, I’ve got some exciting news! Our brand new vacation poll (a scientific survey of 1,002 Americans by Opinion Resarch Corporation) found that 69% of Americans support a paid vacation law. Only 27% are opposed. We have nearly 3-1 support for our paid vacation law campaign–that’s huge!

And our brand new Web site: is now live! On the site you’ll find arguments for a paid vacation law, 37 colorful and humorous posters that you can print and put up in your offices to draw people’s attention to the campaign or email to friends, the most pertinent results from the poll (every demographic of Americans supports a law!).

Below, in this email, you’ll find a press release that you can send to all your local media (please do!) and to friends letting them know about the poll and the new Web site. Call your local radio stations and tell them about the poll as well! We are already getting interest in this from as far away as Ireland. Use the poll results to encourage your Congresspeople to support legislation guaranteeing paid vacation time for all Americans.

Let me know what you think of our Web site. Email me at And please, if you can, contribute to this campaign–you’ll see how to do it on the site. We are really poised to make a difference, but our funds are dangerously low. We truly need your help. If you believe in this campaign, contribute now.

Read the press release and forward it wherever you can!

Thanks so much!

John de Graaf
Executive Director


JULY 7, 2008


CONTACT: John de Graaf; (206) 443-6747



As the nation celebrated July 4th, a new poll found that most Americans don’t have or don’t feel they can take time for “the Pursuit of Happiness,” and more than two-thirds support a law that would guarantee paid vacations for American workers.

The scientific telephone sample of 1,002 Americans was conducted by The Opinion Research Corporation, a leading professional pollster, during the week of June 23, 2008.

The poll found 69% of Americans saying they would support a paid vacation law, with the largest percentage of respondents favoring a law guaranteeing three weeks vacation or more. Take Back Your Time advocates a three-week paid vacation law. Americans under 35 (83%), African-Americans (89%), Hispanic-Americans (82%), and low-income Americans (82%) were the strongest supporters of such a law, as were residents of the Northeast (75%) and the South (72%). 75% of women and 63% of men support a paid vacation law. 74% of families with children support such a law. Every demographic showed majority support for a law. Overall, only 27% of those polled were opposed to a paid vacation law.


Americans were asked how many weeks of vacation are best to prevent “burnout.” 52% said they need three weeks or more and 82% said they needed at least two weeks.

Disturbingly though, the survey showed that among working Americans, 28% took no vacation time at all last year, half took a week or less, and two-thirds got less than two weeks off. The median time off for all workers was 8.2 days, far below the three weeks that most cited as the optimum to prevent burnout, much less actually relax and enjoy themselves.

A growing body of evidence suggests that burnout is just one of the negative consequences of too little vacation time. Studies have firmly established that men who don’t take vacations are 32% more likely to die of heart attacks and women are 50% more likely. Lack of vacation time doubles rates of depression for women. After vacations, workers gain an hour per night of quality sleep and their reaction times are 30-40% faster, improvements that last for several months.

“American work-life is out of balance and this poll shows people know it,” said Cecile Andrews, chair of the Take Back Your Time board. “The only difference between dinosaurs and American vacations is that dinosaurs are already extinct. We are losing the breaks we need to stay healthy, avoid stress and bond with our families. It’s certainly a shame that neither Presidential candidate has addressed this issue. Maybe this poll will get them to take notice.”


Take Back Your Time has launched a new Web site—( promoting the idea of a paid vacation law.

Mixing hard science and a lighthearted touch to make a very serious case, the site includes the latest research on the impacts of too little vacation time, as well as more than two dozen humorous posters that can be downloaded, printed and posted to call attention to the campaign and ways to get involved.

“The site is fun, just like vacations are,” said Joe Robinson, author of Work to Live, and a leader of the campaign. “The United States is the only wealthy country without a paid vacation law. We’re the capital of burnout and it’s costing all of us hundreds of billions of dollars a year. We can change that with a law guaranteeing vacations to workers. We need time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Fun is not a four-letter word. But this would actually make businesses more productive too.”

“Vacations are so important for family bonding,” said William Doherty, professor of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. “Some of the strongest memories from childhood involve family vacations. And yet, far fewer families are taking them now.”


“Take Back Your Time’s medical team has discovered a new disease that has rapidly been spreading throughout the US in recent years,” said Executive Director John de Graaf. “Ever notice that people seem crankier, there’s lots of road rage, we’re all impatient? Do you feel like screaming at your computer to hurry up sometimes? Nerves frazzled by overwork and constant rushing lead to angry snarls. We call it ‘Irritable Growl Syndrome.’ It’s definitely hard on Americans’ health and there’s no pill to cure it. Our workers need a real ‘pause that refreshes,’ and the most promising is more vacation time. Time to unwind from the ever-increasing stresses of the workplace.”

Take Back Your Time believes that the lack of vacation time in the United States is a serious problem, as the new poll indicates. A law guaranteeing paid vacations would allow us to catch up to other nations (for example, every European worker gets a minimum of four weeks paid vacation). It would lead to higher hourly productivity and reduce the escalating cost of health care, by making all Americans healthier. It’s not rocket science; it’s common sense. Every other wealthy country in the world realizes that.

Take Back Your Time can provide key experts for your radio programs or print stories. Just contact John de Graaf at: or (206) 443-6747 or Joe Robinson: Poll results (by July 3) at: