A Swedish art project will pay you to do nothing for the rest of your life

A man sits in front of a TV with a remote.
Lazy living. Photo credit: File

The Swedish city of Gothenburg has commissioned a new art project that centres around hiring one person to do nothing but check in and out of a train station at the beginning and end of each working day.

What 'work' the person lucky enough to score the job does is entirely up to them.

According to the Public Art Agency of Sweden, the job will provide the worker with an annual salary starting at NZ$54,631 plus an annual wage increase and benefits usually received by the average public sector employee such as holidays, sick leave and a pension. 

In return, the worker must:

  • check-in and check-out at the Korsvägen Station at the beginning and end of each working day (They are not required, however, to stay within the premises of the station throughout the day.)
  • keep to the working hours agreed upon between the employee and the employer
  • not to take on other paid employment during the working hours of the position.

By checking in to the station, the lucky employee will turn on a set of lights over the station platform, and by checking out, they turn them off. 

The concept behind the role is that wealth, for most of the 20th century, was accumulated through people going to work nine to five, before rapid globalisation and deregulation contributed to a situation where most wealth is now accumulated through capital.

By providing this worker with 'Eternal Employment', the art piece is meant to pay tribute to the high regard this kind of secure role would once have been held in, while also acting as a living measure of growing inequality in society as the worker and their regular, annual wage falls behind the progress of the wealthy elite.

"'Eternal Employment' not only offers a different understanding of work and the worker, but questions the very notions of growth, productivity and progress which are at the core of modernity," the job description states.

Whatever way you look at it, if you love video games, Netflix or even reading a book all day long, this could be your dream job.

However, because Korsvagen train station is still under construction, the position will only become available in 2026, after the station is inaugurated.