German philosopher Josef Pieper wrote, “We mistake leisure for idleness, and work for creativity."
In a world of “total work,” there is no space for contemplation or rest. There is no need for people to be in “harmony with themselves” as long as they are employed. To “know thyself” is a secondary concern, and any sort of break from work is merely in the service of doing more work.
As Pieper put it:
The simple ”break” from work — the kind that lasts an hour, or the kind that lasts a week or longer — is part and parcel of daily working life. It is something that has been built into the whole working process, a part of the schedule. The ”break” is there for the sake of work. It is supposed to provide ”new strength” for ”new work,” as the word ”refreshment” indicates: one is refreshed for work through being refreshed from work.
Paul Millerd writing in Quartz