27. Post-work and Busynesslessness, with Stephen Dunne

When it comes to work, the coronavirus has changed everything, and changed nothing.

We are more idle, and we are busier than ever.

Petting alpacas can be good for your mind and body. Photo: Tambako the Jaguar (Flickr)

Some employers bring therapets (therapeutic pets), such as alpacas, into the office. It helps people get out of their heads, as Stephen Dunne explains in this episode. So, what’s wrong with our heads when we’re at work?

Stephen Dunne researches work and society, asking what work is for, and who does what jobs.

Is there a way for us to fully be ourselves outside of work?

We talk here about the figure of the detective, a person who is totally identified with the work they do; we talk about the potential downsides of the 4-day week; and we mention Fully Automated Luxury Communism too.


Stephen Dunne

Stephen Dunne is a lecturer in marketing at the University of Edinburgh. He is a writer in social theory, consumer research and business ethics. You can read some of his research articles here.









Michael Pedersen is co-author with Stephen on the research that we talk about here, though he doesn’t appear in today’s episode.

Michael is an associate professor at Copenhagen Business School. He has published work on self-management, stress, identity management and habits. He is currently doing research in the 4 day work week. Find out more about his work here.