Living to work or working to live? Most people can figure out what an hour at the office earns them in salary. But almost no one have thought about how much an hour of free time is worth to them. When technology in the workplace doubles the efficiency, you’re generally not allowed to go home after lunch… yet. But when technology simplifies your own time it immediately frees up space for more of the things you love like sports, hobbies and family.

For example, if buying a robot vacuum-cleaner saves you a little under half an hour of vacuuming a week, it’s equivalent to over three full workdays in a year. If a $500 unit runs for 5 years, then everyone who’s salary is more than $4/h should get one. What If the same deal was given to you at the office? If you could pay $32 per week to get every Friday off; I bet you would.

The only distinguishable counterargument to the vacuum-example is, “but I like doing it”. The exact same counterargument that was used by the opposition when the washing-machine was invented. What they’re really saying is “I don’t like change in my routine”. And how many people hand-wash all their clothes today? I’m certain you can have more fun with your time.

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”
Henry David Thoreau

Are you commuting to work by car? Imagine how much time you would free up for better things if your car had high-speed internet and drove itself. I know it can be fun to drive yourself sometimes, but no rational person likes morning rush-hour traffic. As long as you’re generally happy with your life, what resource could be more valuable than your own time? Historically you needed wealth and servants to outsource your chores. Soon a visit to an electronics store will allow you to outsource just about any chore in your household.

Eric Langenskiöld

Author Eric Langenskiöld

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