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Work is what makes the world tick. If we all sat around twiddling our thumbs all day we’d quickly perish as a race.

But working in an office, for 40 hours a week, is not what makes the world tick. Work takes a variety of forms, and can be done a variety of ways. If we box ourselves in to working within a specific framework, we run the great risk of losing our ability to innovate and losing our motivation to think strategically. We should always be ready to adapt proactively to new realities, or we will be left struggling to react when it’s already too late. Sustainability requires adaptability.

We are seeing increasingly dramatic changes that we have not yet adjusted for, and every moment we wait for change is a moment wasted.

How are workplace strategies relevant to economic sustainability?

The effects of our economic recession are being felt both in the U.S. and worldwide. If new workplace policies could increase productivity, would that be better for our economy? By working more efficiently, would it be possible to balance shorter bursts of increased productivity with longer periods of time devoted to alternative pursuits? Learn more about different approaches to economic sustainability and how they relate to the everyday worker.

What impact has changing demographics had on work?

The workforce demographic has changed radically since the policies that define it were put into place. Women now make up 50% of all workers in the U.S., versus 24% in 1940. And in nearly two-thirds of families, women are now the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners. Gone are the days when a man would leave for the office in the morning and his wife would have the house cleaned, the groceries bought, and food cooked for dinner on his return. If our work strategies don’t adapt to this changing demographic, we risk losing talent and damaging families. Learn more about what these changes mean for the workplace, and how people are adapting.

What impact has work had on the environment?

The Industrial Revolution that began in the mid 1700s started a profound shift towards higher standards of living for people worldwide (more significantly for some than for others), in large part due to increased access to food.  Continued innovation has led to an expanding middle class, lower infant mortality rates, and longer life expectancy. But with these positive changes has also come significant disruption to our environment, including massive deforestation, higher carbon emissions, and the resulting changes in climate and depletion of natural resources. Learn more about how work has impacted our environment, and what people are doing to make change.