Discussion On Work-Life Balance Is Back & Indians Need To Sit Up For It
In this new year conversations around work-life balance has been gaining a lot of traction, with people finally contemplating whether they should take it slow. For long, we have glamorised working hard and cruising to the top fast, along professional ladders, but it does come with a cost. Perhaps an increase in stress and anxiety level and deterioration of overall well-being has finally left us wondering if it is all worth it? Running fast and hard for success doesn’t always guarantee happiness and contentment, both personal and professional. However, Indians are yet to join this conversation, as we pitch in some of the highest weekly working hours around the world.
- The discussion on work-life balance has gained a lot of traction in 2019.
- Running hard and fast up the ladder of success comes with a cost.
- Indians are yet to acknowledge that cost as we still are drawn to the hustle porn.
- But it is time that we realise that life cannot be all work and no play.
When you fail to draw a line between professional and personal life, one becomes the other.
It is a fantasy among most youngsters today to make it big in their youth, and they aren’t shying away from putting in long hours to make that happen. Just last year, Alexis Ohanian dubbed the phenomenon as “Hustle porn,” which is distracting young entrepreneurs from doing good work, and reinforcing sexist stereotypes that to win in tech, you have to ditch everything outside of work and devote your life to your company, a tradeoff many people (and women especially) simply cannot make. When you fail to draw a line between professional and personal life, one becomes the other.
In our country, this encroachment of work into personal space is often encouraged. Ever since childhood, parents teach the value of working hard to their kids. With the change in times though it isn’t about working hard anymore. It is about working smart as well. You must work and it must essentially bring you success. No country encourages the culture of hustle as we do. In fact, twenty-something Indians have no inhibitions in pulling all stops and making work their life to find success. And while the West is slowly waking up to the hazards of this kind of lifestyle, Indians remain oblivious.
No country encourages the culture of hustle as we do. We want success hard and fast.
This exhaustive and demanding work culture is one of the many reasons why women have to drop out of the workforce. With an added burden to manage the household and rear up kids, it becomes difficult for them to match the working hours that their male colleagues can pull off. The result is they often have to settle for lower pay grade or decline promotions in order to maintain work-life balance. However, companies cannot defend this culture, citing that only those who make work their sole motif of life, deserve to go up on the ladder. Even for men, it is important to create a work-life balance, as a lack of it may put a strain on their marriages and health.
A research said that Indians felt that they were the most vacation-deprived in the world. In a survey conducted by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, across eight countries including India in 2018, 71 percent of employees said work interferes with their personal life. So the harsh truth of over-working and glamorising hustle porn is knocking on our doors. We know something is wrong with our work culture. We know it is not okay to promote unhealthy working style. Yet, at least in India, we do not see people slowing down, because their neighbour or their cousin isn’t slowing down.
The thing is that we often increase the speed of our life to match that of others’. However, it is time to change gears and pay attention to the massive cost of neglecting work-life balance which we pay in form of crumbling personal relationships and health because at the end of the day it is us who has to bear that burden, not the neighbour.
Pic credits: Glamour
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.