By: Pune Pulse
October 30, 2023
Pune: A young hustler has penned down a letter to Narayana Murthy about his recent 70-hour work week comment.
The notion of young individuals working for 70 hours a week, as per your suggestion, has prompted me to reflect on my personal encounters and those of my peers. Our work ethic was centered on excelling in our jobs, frequently leading us to work extended hours without any respite. This is a prevalent phenomenon in India, where the ‘hustle culture’ encourages individuals to overwork themselves without considering the adverse effects it may have.
The gift of time that comes with retirement has allowed our parents to reconnect with us, their children, and make up for lost time. However, we find ourselves stuck in a relentless work culture, valuing hard work as our strength. The new generation, on the other hand, values personal time and seeks to find a balance between work and life. This realization has made us question our priorities and what truly makes us happy and fulfilled. The culture of overworking in India is prevalent, and it’s high time we recognize the importance of personal time and not just measure success by the hours spent working.
The notion that young individuals should work 70 hours per week has prompted me to reflect upon my own experiences and those of my generation. We were deeply committed to excelling in our professional endeavours, often labouring for extended periods without taking breaks. This phenomenon is prevalent in India, where the prevailing ‘hustle culture’ frequently compels individuals to overexert themselves without considering the consequences. Recent news articles, such as “Work Still Measured In…” by Ashneer Grover and Edelweiss’ Radhika Gupta’s response to Narayana Murthy’s “70-hour work” statement, further highlight this issue. Presently, we proudly share stories of our unwavering dedication with new colleagues. However, upon reflection, we realize that we sacrificed numerous significant moments. Birthdays, weddings, and even family gatherings were forsaken due to our work commitments. Although our parents understood our drive, perusing old photo albums now reveals our absence and the opportunities we missed.
The current work culture has created a paradox where our parents, who have retired, have more time to reconnect with us, and their children, but we are stuck in a relentless work culture. We used to believe that working hard was our strength, but the new generation values personal time and important moments in life. This realization highlights the importance of finding a balance between reaching goals and being present in life’s special moments. The conversation about work and life balance spans across generations and urges us to rethink what truly makes us happy and fulfilled. The prevalent culture of overworking in India is dangerous and can lead to burnout, stress, and an imbalance in life. It’s high time we question the ‘always on’ work mentality and recognize the importance of personal time.