When it comes to work and the hours we pour for work, there is no one universal method/concept that works for everyone. It really varies, depending on each individual’s circumstances, personal life, other responsibilities, work ethics, values, goals.
Last Sunday, NST published an article by NST Leader on related subject, entitled “Rostering Routines”. The main message is to urge Malaysians to be more productive at work and home, to have a more enriching work-life balance.
Last week, there were a lot of noise about China’s work ethics saying that the tech employers tend to exhaust the employees to work tirelessly just to get the work done, to achieve their ambitious goals. It all started when Jack Ma called long working hours “a huge blessing”. Richard Liu, from JD.com, said people who frittered away their days “are no brothers of mine”. They even has a term for it – 996, i.e. working from 9am to 9pm 6 days a week, a culture they refer to as “hustle culture”.
And then in the US, FT published a long interview on Warren Buffett (which I must say a good weekend read) and quoted this from the man himself, “I’m having a vacation every day. If there was someplace else I wanted to go, I’d go there. This is the pleasure palace here — you’re sitting in it now. I have more fun here than I think any 88-year-old is having, virtually, in the world.” Which means, he doesn’t mind working every day.
From the glance of it, the successful founders in 2 most powerful countries in the world are portraying that they love working and that we should continue to work for as long as we want to reach greater heights. And they are already billionaires. But here in Malaysia, we are trying to get our people to slow down when in actual fact, we haven’t worked hard enough and have to work hard to push our country to climb the development ladder.
I’m not saying that everyone should be working 996 throughout their lives, I myself wouldn’t want to do that too now. But that’s because my circumstances have changed, my priorities have changed. I now have a family, I have a son that I want to go home to play with, I want to see him everyday in the morning and at night. I have done my fair share of 996 when I was younger and still single, in fact sometimes it’s 907, i.e. 9am to 12am 7 days a week.
So I wouldn’t stop the youth to follow the 996 culture, especially if you have a target to meet or a problem that you are so passionate about to solve. Why not? No one should be stopping you as long as you don’t compromise your health and forget your parents. At the end of the day, we all must know when to switch on and when to switch off. Learn how to be physically, mentally and emotionally present. If it’s dinner time with parents, stop thinking about work and be there for them.
With that in mind, let’s have a good break and spend a wonderful time with our families today, in conjunction to Labour Day.
Happy Labour Day everyone!