It is a well-established fact that Workplace culture plays a major role in how you do your work and feel on and off the job every day. 1/4th of the people report that they are irritated at home by their workplace.
A toxic working environment can also have significant productivity impacts. A study from Harvard Business School found that nearly half of employees with an unpleasant workplace spend less time on the job and decreased their work efforts.
There is always a fine line between the driven and overly competitive working environment. And there is essentially a dire need for redemption when every attempt to improve things falls off. Such State of Redemption took birth in the land of China when the toxic 996 work Culture has been victimizing the workers.
But what exactly is 996 work culture?
The 996-work culture is common among Chinese technology companies and start-ups and encourages workers to work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week. Although Chinese law technically prohibits this practice, many companies still implement the hours informally or formally.
It’s the dark underside of the country’s punishing labour ethic. The suicide rates are officially ‘low’ but regular suicide and death reports of workers from China are reported.
In early 2019, Media reported that an activist group set up the ‘996.ICU’ project on GitHub with critics listing examples of unreasonable overtime and blacklisted enterprises accused of being active in practice.
It all began when Luo Huazhong, the former factory worker drew the curtains and crawled into the bed and wrote the message: “Lying flat is justice”, along with a photo of himself.
Two years ago, Li Chuang left his job in central China, Hubei Province to be a monk at the Wudang Mountain. The monastery is known as martial rock-climbing art for its practice of Taoism and Tai Chi. After returning to town, he had panic and was too frightened to return as an office worker to his old job. He’s running a small convenience store today.
Li Chuang is one of China’s growing young professionals who reject traditional success in the interests of a minimalist lifestyle. The 31-year-old, who was stressed, left Sichuan province for Tibet for more than 2000 kilometres, working odd jobs.
He told The New York Times in an interview, “I only felt numb after working for so long, like a machine.” “And then I gave up.” Change in his lifestyle has inspired other people. His post was held in a demonstration against materialism.
Li admitted that his new lifestyle doesn’t excite most of his friends and family, including his father and people complain about letting down of my parents and wasting countries resources & many of them reject his choice of work just as an attempt to escape.
He also adds that there is no longer Mao-era cradle-to-grave security available to the citizens.
The Chinese government also is against the movement and called it a “threat to stability”. Xi Jinping said in a video clip that widespread circulation was made in and out of China’s social media. “As long as you’re needed by society, as long as you’re respected and earn a decent pay, that is a good job.”
According to Li, the government no longer provides happiness in China today but is meant to be a material success. Everyone gets their quota of happiness but is this the true happiness we long to cherish is the question of the hour and we certainly need to stand by the movement and make sure that the so-called 996 work culture is not going to fly.