In the latest "shocking" Research Paper published by the University of Afpuddle, social scientist Dr I Dille-Fokker reveals that “surprisingly” most people would prefer to be paid not to work than to work. [University of Afpuddle, Department of Social Sciences Research Paper [New Series] #278 "Rewards & incentives: The complex and evolving relationship between work and leisure".
The startling revelations come after extensive and groundbreaking study undertaken as part of project Work, Rest and Play - a £3 billion research programme jointly funded by Dorset’s Department for Work and Pensions and an undisclosed “industry giant’.
Head of research, Dr Fokker says he and his colleagues were as startled as anyone by the results of their 5 year study which was designed to explore attitudes to work and payment and whether there was any significant realationship between the two. “We had rather assumed that people liked working and that payment for it was more or less an added bonus. Our initial thoughts were that it was only by going to work 5 days a week that most people filled in the time between weekends. It turns out - to our great astonishment - that if the money were to keep rolling in then, people on the whole would prefer to remain at home doing nothing". "These are preliminary and at the moment hypothetical findings, of course, but we are hoping that a planned £10 billion extension to the project, which will actually enable us to pay people to do nothing, will prove that our findings stand up in practical terms" he added.
Asked why, if the recommendations of the research were widely implemented, companies might be inclined to continue to pay people to not work for them and where the funds for such payments might come from, Dr Fokker explained that “these kinds of issues are outwith the scope of my team’s inquiries”. "We were forensically focussed on an important single issue: does not working and being paid not to do so make you happier and if so is this your preferred option. Amazingly it was".
The research was conducted in 2019 pre CONTRIK-69 restrictions. Respondents were given a multiple choice questionnaire to complete on a Friday afternoon just after the end of the working week. Typical were Questions 12 and 13
Question 12. Which of the following best describes your view of and attitudes towards work and it’s rewards
A. I prefer to work very long hours and get paid very little
B. I prefer to work long hours and not get paid at all
C. I prefer not to work and to get paid the same or more for doing nothing
Question13. Are you sure?
C. Don’t know
Over 99% of respondents answered C to Question 12 and A to Question 13
Dr Fokker says he can understand scepticism regarding the surprising outcome of his research but says that there is indeed a logic to it. “The human instinct to work very hard for little reward is deeply embedded, socially-mandated and culturally reinforced but it is slowly being eroded as civilisation progresses and mechanisation mediates between individuals and their task-oriented instincts. On the whole we prefer machines to take over the burden of tedious repetitive labour and we are learning to become more comfortable with laziness, obesity and entitlement. Notwithstanding the terrible loss which the withdrawal of work-based accomplishment inflicts on even the most robust psyche over time [witness the madness inherent in the English aristocracy], compensation in the form of continued payment can go a long way towards reconciling us to our situation. It turns out that people can learn to enjoy the distractions of - say - a round of golf or even lounging in front of the TV provided - and this is the crucial finding - the money keeps rolling in as it did before".
"State-mandated and armed-police-enforced lockdown during CONTRIK-69 and the resulting insistence on working from home - allowing as it does for occasional spurts of “pretending to work” or maintaining "a fake availability for work by being present on line whilst making cups of coffee and playing Call of Duty" - is likely to reinforce and even accelerate the development of our ease with not working and will tend to normalise a new found aspiration to defraud our employers and get something for nothing. If this proves anything, it proves our adaptability as human beings and our evolution from the caveman attitudes of yesteryear. Imagine the response you would have got 100 years ago if you’d suggested to a Dorset miner that he need not go down to the pit everyday and risk his life but rather stay at home and be paid for doing nothing. He’d probably have given you a very old-fashioned look before punching you in the face".
A mildly puzzled spokesperson for the CDI [Confederation of Dorset Industries] described the research findings as "Absolutely f***ing pointless", adding "who does Dr Fokker think is going to pay all these idle sods to do nothing ... Really... Academic Research ... I mean, these people ...They should get a proper job".