For most of us, work is, well, work. It can be stressful, and suck up a lot of our time. But despite these negatives, there are work perks other than a paycheck and standard employer benefits. Employment offers structure, social contact, physical and mental activity and it’s often a crucial part of our sense of identity — all of which can be a boon to our mental health.
So in a world where AI and automation are eliminating employment opportunities, and the concept of a basic universal income it getting more attention, it’s important to know just how much a person needs to work to receive these mental health benefits. A new study released in Social Science and Medicine this week claims to have landed on just such a number. And it’s less than you might think.