Douglas Coupland Thinks It's "Barbaric" You Have To Work 9-5

'Generation X' author in a statement we can all get behind

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Along with zeitgeist-defining writers like Brett Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk, Douglas Coupland made his name by delving into the ennui and frustration of the young and restless, so it's no surprise that the Canadian writer has little time for the grind of day-to-day work.

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In a new interview with The Guardian, the author of 'Generation X' opened up about the death of the working day and his own approach, saying: "I haven't been employed since 1988. I'm still trying to recover from the trauma. Sometimes I wake up and think: 'Oh my God, I don't have a job'."

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"My life is a vocation; I can't imagine doing anything else. I have the freedom to explore whatever idea I want, take really random gigs and projects which change my life in some way."

Sounds pretty nice, Doug.

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Coupland's seminal novel, released in 1991, explored the themes of boredom, a lack of prospects and dreary careers (he coined the term McJob), modern ills that have gone nowhere in the 26 years since its publication.

"The nine to five is barbaric", he adds. "I really believe that. I think one day we will look back at nine-to-five employment in a similar way to how we see child labour in the 19th century."

"The future will not have the nine till five. Instead, the whole day will be interspersed with other parts of your life. Scheduling will become freeform."

With countries like Finland already trailing a basic income scheme, as well as the rapid ascent of AI, we might be closer than ever to seeing the end of the structured working day.

"In the future, every day of the week is going to be a Wednesday. There will be no more weekends, it'll be one smooth flow. I wish I could say that in the future there will be no meetings, but there will always be meetings."

Wise words indeed.