This chapter provides a brief history of work, outlining continuities and changes. It discusses the notion of the ‘work ethic’ and whether this is changing, given the rise of consumerism and the 24/7 economy. With unsocial work hours, casualisation, and under-employment now increasingly common, the chapter explores whether the contemporary work ethic is primarily governed by consumption preferences. It covers debates over the persistence of gendered forms of work and the implications of this for an improved work/life balance for both women and men. The chapter then discusses dominant conceptions of work organisation, examining the ideas of Max Weber, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Henry Ford, and Elton Mayo, before reviewing contemporary theories that suggest we now live in a post-industrial or network society. Sylvia Walby highlights the social construction of gender in the workplace, evidenced by the exclusion of women from some occupations or limits placed on the type of job, hours, pay rates, and promotion opportunities accessible to them.