After Work

After Work:A History of the Home and the Fight for Free Time

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A vital and timely manifestol for a feminist post-work politics

Does it ever feel like you have no free time? You come home after work and instead of finding a space of rest and relaxation, you're confronted by a pile of new tasks to complete – cooking, cleaning, looking after the kids, and so on.

In this ground-breaking book, Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek lay out how unpaid work in our homes has come to take up an ever-increasing portion of our lives – how the vacuum of free time has been taken up by vacuuming. Examining the history of the home over the past century – from running water to white goods to smart homes – they show how repeated efforts to reduce the burden of this work have faced a variety of barriers, challenges, and reversals.

Charting the trajectory of our domestic spaces over the past century, Hester and Srnicek consider new possibilities for the future, uncovering the abandoned ideas of anti-housework visionaries and sketching out a path towards real free time for all, where everyone is at liberty to pursue their passions, or do nothing at all. It will require rethinking our living arrangements, our expectations and our cities.


  • We are taught to think that there's no alternative to the sad model of social reproduction centered on the single-family home and privatized family. Here's is a practical and creative guide to how we might begin to move beyond that paradigm.

    Kathi Weeks, author of The Problem With Work
  • Why do breakthroughs of technology so rarely lift the burden of drudgery? And how can we harness these breakthroughs to move beyond the capitalist conditions that they service today? Following their pioneering theory (Xenofeminism and Inventing the Future) Helen Hester and Nick Srinicek's new book After Work tackles this problem, and provides a new vision of a future that moves us past toil. This book advances the case for "the struggle against work - in all its forms", addressing a broad range of concerns from the rise of platform capitalism to the burdens of care that persistent in private households. Neither understating the scale of the social transformation needed for the planet to survive capitalism, nor lapsing into despair over the thorny trail ahead, After Work is indispensable reading for anyone committed to extending the realm of freedom.

    Jules Gleeson, co-editor of Transgender Marxism
  • This is an incisive critique of the status quo and an earnest appeal to rethink why people work and how they spend their time.

    Publishers Weekly