Something for the weekend: Although some employees may believe they are busy doing nothing during their working day, Swedish conceptual artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby are hiring for an ‘eternal employee’ to do just this, paying a monthly salary of $2,320 (£1,752.99) for a job role with no set duties or responsibilities.
The job, based at Korsvagen, a train station currently under construction in Gothenburg, Sweden, asks the chosen candidate to arrive and clock in by turning on the fluorescent lights over the train platforms. The eternal employee can then spend the day as they choose, even leaving the site if they wish. At the end of the day, the employee simply has to turn the lights off to clock out.
The selected employee will not only receive a monthly salary for simply arriving and leaving the workplace, but they will also get the same employment benefits as a Swedish public sector employee. This includes an annual salary boost, holiday days and a pension. The position is also a job for life, although the eternal employee can opt to quit or retire if they want at any time.
This unique opportunity is a conceptual art project Goldin and Senneby are conducting as part of a collaboration between the Public Art Agency Sweden and the Swedish Transport Administration. The collaboration invited local artists to influence the design of three new train stations in Gothenburg’s West Link district; Goldin and Senneby’s proposal was to employ someone to suffer from ‘boreout’, or stress caused by under stimulation, in order to explore economic and social constructs.
Anyone from across the globe can apply for the position, which is due to start accepting applications in 2025, ahead of Korsvagen’s opening in 2026. The only requirement is that the eternal employee does not have a second job.
Winning the art project proposal earned the artists seven million Swedish krona (£567,385); this will be used to pay the eternal employee’s salary. As the artists have invested the money, they predict they will be able to fund this job for 120 years.
In their proposal, the artists stated, as reported by Travel and Leisure: “Eternal employment not only offers a different understanding of work and the [employee], but questions the very notions of growth, productivity and progress, which are at the core of modernity. In the face of mass automation and artificial intelligence, the impending threat [or] promise is that we will all become productively superfluous. We will all be ‘employed at Korsvagen’, as it were.”
The artists expect the eternal employee to: “[Invent] his [or] her own projects or creative ventures, or [simply] embrace a state of perpetual leisure.”
Here at Employee Benefits, we love that the eternal employee really could do anything with their working day. We think it would be a great chance to finally crack on with that bestselling novel while still getting paid…