New Delhi: Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, supported the 12 hours work a day culture of China. In China the 12 hours work culture is termed as schedule 996— slogging from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week.
Many tech entrepreneurs are seemed to be discarding this theory of Ma, saying it kills creativity. However, when it comes to the fastest growing economy of the world- India, the scenario is not much different than China.
In India, many people spend their Sundays and vacations working, by choice or under compulsion. Founders defend it, saying that with investors and shareholders breathing down their necks, slacking off from aggressive expansion could mean the closure of the firm.
Sarika Bhattacharya, CEO of Biz Divas, which works on inclusivity at corporate houses, said “Those in the industry say Indians, both in big companies and and startups, are becoming exactly like the Chinese and Japanese when it comes to killer working hours. Look at private banks or telecom companies, even their employees work 9 am to 9 pm.”
Working for long hours earns the employees appreciation and promotions and ESPOs. Bhattacharya added, “If they are part of the founding team and are emotionally invested in the start-up and founder, then it becomes their dream, their passion, and long hours become irrelevant.”
‘Bro-culture’ also resides in the organization, however it becomes annoying sometimes. According to a female employee in a start-up who cannot work after 7-8 pm as she was having a young child said, “But I work very hard when I am in office. It seems very unfair that guys, who just lounge around and play table tennis in the afternoon and work late nights nursing beers, are seen as putting in more hours in office and having a greater team spirit.”
Dr Aniruddha Malpani, an angel investor in the healthcare space, said, “Long work hours don’t mean higher productivity. It’s like a race to the bottom. For knowledge workers, it’s a particularly stupid metric. How would one get inspire or be creative?