Lilia, via Ingo, points to BusinessWeek's Oct 3rd cover story, The Real Reasons You're Working So Hard... It's an interesting article on the history of long hours and how the problem is spreading outside of the U.S. It also covers a number of possible directions for solutions: organizational network analysis, knowledge work, distributed workers.
This epidemic of long hours at the office -- whether physically or remotely -- defies historical precedent and common sense. Over the past 25 years, the Information Revolution has boosted productivity by almost 70%. So you would think that since we're producing more in fewer hours, such gains would translate into a decrease in the workweek -- as they have in the past. But instead of technology being a time-saver, says Warren Bennis, a University of Southern California professor and author of such management classics as On Becoming a Leader, "everybody I know is working harder and longer."
In the end, though, the corporate culture and the workers themselves need to come to an agreement that a life outside of "work" is important. This applies to independents, like myself, who sometimes find it hard to close the laptop and get out in the sunny, October weather. Ta ta.