When we think about work, we still tend to think about offices and factories. Missing from the picture are hospitals and homes—the places where care work takes place. We hear often about the crisis of work—precarious jobs, zero-hours contracts, outsourcing and automation—but thinking about work through the lens of care gives these problems a whole new perspective.
In this groundbreaking work, Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek argue that not only is there a crisis of work, there is also a crisis of reproduction: an ageing population means increasing dependency ratio; years of austerity measures have cut back on welfare, education and health care; and fewer people are available to do unpaid house work and child care as more women are in the workforce. The good news is that it is a crisis that can and should be tackled. But only by completely rethinking the way we organise our living arrangements and organise care work, while remaining open to the automation of work done in the home.
After Work is a crucial intervention into the debates about the future of work, extending its attention beyond paid jobs, to the impact of domestic work upon familial relationships, social bonds, and our very conceptions of domestic space.