The eight hour work day is a passe. It’s normal to find professionals working for more than 14 hours at a stretch. Office has become the new home for many in globalised India. And the PC at the work place has become more powerful than ever before.
Ask Kaushal Mehta, founder director of a leading BPO and he says, “There are quite a few workaholics in my team. On an average, they work for 14 hours. There is no doubt that they have dedicated their life to work. And most of them are in their late 20s.” Ask him about his own working hours and he says, “I work round the clock. I am always connected to my work, office and colleagues. Even when I am on vacation, I log on to my laptop to be in touch with my colleagues. Blame it on technology, but that’s the way the life is now.”
There’s no doubt that technology has enabled us in meeting deadlines, connecting across continents, solving problems and much more. In addition to this, stiff competition has also played a vital role in long working hours. “On an average, I work for 12 hours. My father can’t understand my long schedules. But then, there is so much competition that one has to meet targets. There’s always a chance somebody would beat you in the race. So even if I take a two day break, I feel restless. Now, work has almost become an obsession for me,” says R Sudhir, a finance professional.
Even as the number of workaholics increases, it’s slowly taking its toll on people’s personal lives as they find no time for socialising. As says Priya Menon, a homemaker, “My husband works more that 12 hours at a stretch on many occasions. Being a workaholic, he rarely finds time for family vacations and social occasions. I have to manage everything single-handedly. He needs to spend quality time with my growing children, but it seems quite a tough task now.”
Are workaholics better at their jobs than their colleagues who probably stick to fixed working hours? Says Mehta, “It’s not a good trend. Workaholics, in general, don’t have faith in their team members. They are not capable of creating another team which can manage things.”
In addition to this, most workaholics also suffer from a lot of physical and psychological problems. As says physician Ankur Dave, who has been involved with executive health programmes of leading corporates, “Workaholics can’t give time to their spouses and children, and that definitely creates psychological problems. Thanks to their long working hours, most of them also suffer from hypertension, acidity and other health problems. It’s essential to strike a balance between work and life.” Remember, all work and no play will leave Jack a lonely, lost man!