In futurology, political science, and science fiction, a post-work society is a society in which the nature of work has been radically transformed and traditional employment has largely become obsolete.

Some post-work theorists imagine the complete automation of all jobs, or at least the takeover of all monotonous, repetitive tasks (thus unworthy of humans) by cheaper, faster, more efficient, more reliable and more accurate machines.[1] Additionally, these machines can work in harsher conditions and for longer periods of time without stopping than humans.[2] Other theories of a post-work society focus more on challenging the priority of the work ethic, and on the celebration of nonwork activities.[3]

Near-term practical proposals closely associated with post-work theory include the implementation of a universal basic income,[4] as well as the reduction of the length of a working day and the number of days of a working week. Increased focus on what post-work society would look like has been driven by reports such as one that states 47% of jobs in the United States could be automated.[5] Because of increasing automation and the low price of maintaining an automated workforce compared to one dependent on human labor, it has been suggested that post-work societies would also be ones of post-scarcity.[6][7]


See also


  1. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (2020-01-09). "A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind review – should we be delighted or terrified?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-04-05.
  2. ^ Beckett, Andy (19 January 2018). "Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  3. ^ Thompson, Derek (2015-06-23). "A World Without Work". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  4. ^ "What Will We All Do in a Post-Work Society?". Treehugger. 2021-02-12. Retrieved 2022-10-23.
  5. ^ Frey, Carl Benedikt; Osborne, Michael (13 April 2018). "Automation and the future of work – understanding the numbers". Oxford Martin School. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  6. ^ Wolla, Scott A. (1 January 2018). "Will Robots Take Our Jobs?". Economic Research - St. Louis Fed. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Traditional employment is becoming obsolete". Retrieved 2021-08-27.