News from the UK

There's been a bit of discussion about so-called "work/life balance" on this website lately, but folks not based in Europe may not be aware that the European Union looks set to strengthen its control on our working hours. The working time directive which was under debate last week prevents employers from employing workers to work more than 48 hours per week. The modifications currently being debated will remove the opt-out arrangements for employers that currently exist.

I've got quite mixed feelings about this directive. IF it prevents exploitation of unwilling workers, then it's a good thing. However, since the white-collar revolution is forcing western business to add value as never before, all of us are under enormous pressure to develop exceptional mastery in our professions. And mastery, as many studies have shown, is (at least in part) the result of practice, practice, practice!! And that takes time ...

Are European values such as this going to reduce our competitive edge? Or is the EC doing us all an enormous service?