The importance of discretionary time

Professor Lynda Gratton looks at why the current balance of work and downtime is unsustainable

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In her latest column for The Times, LBS’s Professor of Management Practice Lynda Gratton considers how the amount of time that working families have at their disposal has been reduced over the years. While a typical family in the 1950s split its time between a father who went out to work five days a week and a mother who was engaged in unpaid work raising the family and engaged in voluntary work, this is no longer the case. Now, both parents often work five days a week, with the amount of time left to engage in other activities severely reduced.

Professor Gratton looks at what this means for people and productivity and why companies that fail to factor in discretionary time for employees run the risk of creating a ticking timebomb for working families.