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Over-competitive and hustle culture… What’s with our modern day obsession with work ?
You’ve probably seen these hashtags, because it’s everywhere !
#hustlemindset #hustleculture #workhardplayharder #whatsyourexcuse
Over-competitive and hustle culture have become a social badge of success and respect. And everywhere you turn, it feels like someone will punish you if you do not push enough or not working.
HUSTLE CULTURE : Rise and Grind to Rise Above
Welcome to the rise and grind culture where a big conspicuous sign of “Do what you love” implores to be noticed by many young adults who grew up pretending to love work and set their personal life aside. Glamorization of productivity and workaholism in the name of passion to “rise above” has also become the sole motive why people love to brag about their sleep deprivation and being a weekend worker, because the more exhausted and negligent you are of your own physical and mental health, the more hours you put into investing to your feet. That means work life is your whole existence. Because logically, if more work equals a bigger chance to be successful than people who dedicate their whole life to work have a bigger chance to be successful.
The impact of this culture, then reflects on how many young adults tend to feel guilty when they are not doing work and gain self-rapture only when they are productive. In hustle culture, meritocracy is seen as a noninterchangeable currency to bring you above. It is canon that believing in meritocracy means the negligence of privilege that comes to only a few groups of people, be it privilege of status, race, access, and chance.
Exploitative Nature of Hustle Culture
In hustle culture, toiling to survive no longer suffices as one needs to love and devote their lives to their work. Hustle culture itself hasallowed the exhibition of work to be vastly discernible. One needsto let everyone know if they are working excessively, creating amerge of work as their social persona. LinkedIn even introduced a version of their Instagram story where users can let others know their everyday work life. However, the cohort of people who initiated the glorification ofoverworking do not come from employees. Managers and CEOs arethe ones who make these exploitative natures visible to be adoptedby their employees. Former chief executive of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, even disclosed in an interview in 2016 that working 130 hours a week is possible “if you’re strategic about when you sleep, when you shower, and how often you go to the bathroom.”
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, even tweeted that “… but nobody ever changed the world in 40 hours a week. The correct number of hours‘varies per person,’ but only about 80 sustained peaking about 100 at times.” In times of Covid-19, exploitative nature of overworking has superimposed on working from home. Employers see this convenience as they don’t have to deal with sick days or other leaves.
Working after hours has been a generational issue for decades.Because how much we want to assign these problems as systemicissues, we are asked not to contest the status quo but to win it. It is easier to opt for overwork as more and more people are doing it that it is becoming the norm. If we ask for less working-hour we would seem like we are in a slump. We have been taught that if we work enough (excessive) hours, at one point we would work a job that is fulfilling. The ones that align with our passion. We have been taught that if we work passionately, then working doesn’t need to feel like work. As sociologist Arne L. Kalleberg disclosed that we are working morefor the eventual reward of more job security, more pay, andeventually, if we’re lucky enough, more leisure to be able to enjoyour paycheck one day.
Align, Rest and Recover
Myth about working long hours is that it improves productivity and creativity. In contrast, it is proven that less working hour boost productivity as workers have more time to rest hence hampering them from burnout. It is not counterintuitive that the ability to authoritatively detach from work can stimulate greater work satisfaction and minimises procrastination. Researches have shown that productivity declines when people work more than 50 hours per week. So why do we keep working excessive hours? Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founder of Basecamp, stated that myths about overworking persist because it creates an illusion of a high reward that is extreme wealth in his book, “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work.” Our devotion to work has emphasized and motivated our labor exploitation. We try to win the systemic issue because all disadvantages that come from it are deemed to be soluble. Burnout can be treated, anxiety can be medicated, stress can be relieved.
It is then our responsibility to be mindful about how we approach work. Not only to dismantle the exploitative nature of hustle culture that comes from the systemic problem and our excessive work, devotion, it is also to be taking care of ourselves and our well-being because we owe ourselves that much.
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