The newest front in the culture war has little to do with politics. It’s about work: where work should be done and how long it should go on.

In one corner are the Americans who see the workplace as broken. They believe that their country’s relentless quest for economic growth is toxic and unsustainable. They want a gentler workplace, with more time off, pet insurance and a boss who doesn’t text them while they’re settling in for an evening of Netflix.

They were the ones cheering California last week for considering legislation that would codify when your boss can contact you after hours — the so-called “right to disconnect.” They are likely supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal to shrink the workweek to 32 hours. They see their adversaries on this front as set-in-their-way boomers and profit-obsessed bosses. Or, to put it more broadly, as some have done on social media, anyone older and richer than they are.

But the people on the other side of the debate are not villains and they’re not all “elites.” They are people who cherish the American dream and believe that it’s hard work, not leisure pursuits or YouTube influencing, that made this country great. They see TikTok videos of young people crying about how hard it is to work 40 hours as a barista, and contrast these young workers’ lives to the lives of their grandparents and great-grandparents. Some find it hard to sympathize. They fear that we’ve raised kids who are soft and lazy and worry that our foreign adversaries are seeing this, too.

There is, in fact, a generational divide in the workplace that seems to have a sharper edge to it than in decades past. This is due in part to the omnipresence of the baby boomers and their elders — most notably on the presidential campaign trail — who are reluctant to cede their jobs and their homes to younger generations. Many young Americans also blame their elders for the state of the world today, from economic woes to climate change.

Older Americans, meanwhile, are bewildered and disturbed by many young adults’ embrace of socialism, their stance against Israel and the way they derisively speak of “late-stage capitalism” as if capitalism is some loathsome disease and not the very means by which their parents obtained the homes and jobs that they covet.

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Usually, these simmering discontents are hidden, but they sometimes make their way to fore in polling that shows bias against younger or older workers. And they were front and center last fall, when CEOs vowed not to hire college students demonstrating against Israel at Ivy League schools.

At first glance, it seems that the generational divide is intractable when it comes to sweeping changes in the American workplace. It’s hard to imagine that the country would have shifted, in any meaningful way, to hybrid or fully remote work had the change not been forced upon us by the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, calls for a three-day workweek or a law that governs a manager’s communication with an employee would have largely been dismissed with a snort.

And there was plenty of that sort of knee-jerk reaction to the California law even on left-leaning MSNBC.

But the fact is, there is a surprising amount of common ground here as America envisions its next “new normal.” Advocates for change, after all, aren’t arguing for less productivity or inferior products. But they are rejecting the idea that hours spent in a workplace or at a desk comprise their worth. And they aren’t wrong in pushing back on the idea that we should be accessible to everyone at all times — although with reasonable people, that could be accomplished with a conversation, not a law.

Cal Newport, the author of “Deep Work” and “Slow Productivity,” is among the new workplace revolutionaries pointing out that not only is our most important work compromised when we are constantly being pinged, but our rest and recovery in non-work time (what Stephen Covey called “sharpening the saw”) also suffers from constant interruptions.

It’s also worth pointing out that not everyone imagining a shorter workweek is a digital native. Sanders, who is 82, argues that productivity would increase under his proposed four-day workweek. Bill Gates, who is 68, has suggested that artificial intelligence could be leveraged in order to give workers a three-day workweek. “If you zoom out, the purpose of life is not just to do jobs,” Gates has said.

Those ideas may seem radical, and they require a significant amount of trust of employers, especially those skeptical of the work ethic of the younger Americans. And it’s important that we not diminish the importance of work, which is a component of a flourishing life as well as a biblical mandate. (”If any would not work, neither should he eat,” Paul wrote to the Thessalonians.) But as we exit the pandemic and enter a world that AI will change in unforeseeable ways, we need both the pragmatism of the old and the vision of the young to fashion the future workplace — and likely some compromise. In that workplace, maybe our bosses will still sometimes text us at 9 p.m. ... but maybe only three days a week.