Why are “typical” business hours on Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm? How did the 40 hour work week come to be, and does it make sense for us today? Do so-called “desk jobs” really have to take place at a desk, or even in an office? Why are there so many differences in parental leave, sick leave, and vacation time among employers? Are women and men really treated equally in the workplace in the 21st century the way we would expect them to be?
If you’ve often asked these or similar questions, this website is a place for you to come to see you’re not alone, and to find out more about the conversations taking place all over the country about how we can rethink work. Learn what people are saying about ways to make workplaces more flexible and reasons why employees should have paid leave for illness and maternity/paternity. Read about ways to modernize our workplace policies to improve sustainability. Join discussions about how gender roles are changing and why those changes require a shift in the way work gets done. Help make change by asking questions of your employers, your colleagues, and your family and friends.
If you’ve never considered why the workplace is structured the way it is and whether changes are needed, this website is here to help you start questioning the status quo.
Why is it important to ask these questions?
Change only happens when people start wondering why things are the way they are. But change isn’t useful just for change’s sake—the real question should always be, is there a better way of doing things? Adults in the U.S. typically spend a third or more of our daily lives working. Isn’t it time for us to consider whether we are using those hours wisely, and whether there might be new models that would improve our lives as well as the economy?
What can we all do to improve the way that work gets done?
There are many phenomenal organizations engaged in efforts to modernize the workplace, and Start Asking Questions aims to bring attention to their actions and achievements.
These groups tend to approach the issue from a particular point of view. And rightly so. Yes, the way work gets done is a women’s issue. Yes, it is a political issue. Yes, it is a health issue. Yes, it is a workers with disabilities issue. Yes, it is an environmental issue. Yes, it is low-wage worker issue. Yes, it is an LGBTQ rights issue. Yes, it is a management issue. Yes, it is a family issue. Yes, it is an economic issue. Yes, it is a productivity issue.
In fact, the way that work gets done is an issue that impacts every worker and every employer, and is an issue that everyone should be talking about.
Start Asking Questions seeks to re-frame the discussion so that all the different components come together in a single platform: What can we all do to improve the way that work gets done?