‘996’ Is China’s Version of Hustle Culture. Tech Workers Are Sick of It.

Excerpt from this article:

Rank-and-file tech workers in China, discouraged by a weakened job market and downbeat about their odds of joining the digital aristocracy, have other ideas.

They are organizing online against what in China is called the “996” culture: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week.

For years, Chinese tech employees have worked hours that make Silicon Valley’s workaholics seem pampered. Now they are naming and shaming employers that demand late nights. Some programmers are even withholding their creations from companies that they think overemphasize 996.

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Why you shouldn’t let your smartphone be the boss of you

Woman looking at smartphone

Excerpt from this article:

The worst case of “work addiction” I have encountered was described to me by an ex-management consultant. A member of his team – let’s call him Gary – was forced by his employer to take a holiday. The firm saw yet another potential burnout victim on its hands, in what has become a costly epidemic in today’s economy. So Gary bid farewell and set off for sunny Crete for two weeks with his girlfriend.

While he was away the firm noticed something mysterious was happening. Gary’s emails were periodically being cleared in compact 20-minute bursts. He was asked about it when he came back. It turned out he simply couldn’t sit by the beautiful seashore doing nothing all day. He felt as if he was dying inside. So he secretly smuggled his smartphone to the beach and slipped off to the toilet every once in a while to get his email fix. Gary’s co-workers found it hilarious, but also somewhat disconcerting.

We’re Not Nearly as Busy as We Pretend to Be, According to a New Study

Excerpt from this article, which has a link to the study (itself a great read!):

The Havas study says pretending to be busy has become a vital workplace survival skill thanks to our modern society’s tacit celebration of being overloaded.

“Our issue with time seems to be not so much that we have too little of it, but that we now equate being busy with leading a life of significance,” the report notes. “And we don’t want to be relegated to the sidelines. In an essay in The New York Times, writer Tim Kreider observed, ‘Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.'”

“It’s a reflection,” Maleeny said. “There’s been a lot of talk of the hyper-connected world, and that’s only going to get more connected as our cars get smarter, as we enter the world of flying cars and talking toasters, and I think that as that emerges, it’s going to be harder to disconnect.”

How everyone will come to grips with the realities of living with more strings (or WiFi signals) attached is still forming. Maleeny said millennials at the “crest of the wave” of connectivity have brought along older generations. However, Maleeny added, unplugged holidays and daily meditation time through yoga could become more common.

“You’re starting to see some pushback,” he said. “The joy of missing out, or JOMO, if you like. But the social currency [of busyness] is still around.”