Anne and her husband Johannes Bulko, who have a 2-year-old son, Olvar, share one job — packer in a drug supply firm. They work alternate weeks. The spouse who's not working stays at home with Olvar and takes correspondence courses. "Our employer doesn't mind at all," said Johannes, "as long as there is always one Bulko signing in in the morning."
Sound like a novel arrangement? In fact, the details above are lifted almost wholesale from a story that ran in TIME Magazine about 40 years ago. The article described a pioneering five-year experiment, sponsored by the Norwegian government and conducted by sociologist Eric Grønseth to explore a radically different model of work-life balance. Thirty-two people took part, switching off between home and family. Some couples worked alternate days, and some alternate weeks. The Work Sharing Couples Project, devised and conducted by two men, ran from 1970 until 1975. As a point of reference, Ms. magazine was founded in 1972.