Is India the most overworked or the hardest working country?

  • A new report by Kronos Incorporated shows that 69% of of respondents feel that they would be ready to work five days instead of six at the same wage rate.
  • The survey also highlights how 44% of Indian employees clock more than 40 hours of work in a week.
  • The comparison between statistics shows that Indians may be the hardest working people, but they are also the most overworked.
If the choice was between working six days or five days a week, 28% of people globally would choose five days for the same amount of pay. Between the seven countries that were surveyed, India led the way with 69% of respondents feeling that way, followed by Mexico at 43%.

The survey conducted by Kronos Incorporated also shows that one-third of the overall respondents 20% would take a pay cut if that meant having to work one day less every week. But in India, only 43% of respondents resonated with that feeling. One of the reasons for this disparity may be that 44% of Indian respondents clock more 40 hours each week, second only to the United States with 49%.

Work-life balance in India

It was as recently as last week that a Twitter thread called out Indian executives for not having a work-life balance. Comments ranged for it being a characteristic of ‘bad bosses’ to unrealistic expectations from employees.

On the other hand, there are companies like Amazon India with people in leadership that want their employees to have a work-life balance. Their Senior Vice President, Amit Agarwal, stated that he wanted his employees to stop responding to work emails between the hours of 6pm to 8am.

As per the survey conducted by Arcadis, five of the biggest cities in India - Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi - are some of the worst in terms of work life balance. And EY’s report backs that up with 30% of Indian respondents stating maintaining the balance between work, family and personal responsibilities has gotten harder over the past 5 years.

While Indian employees may be the hardest working, research suggests that they are also over-worked. The demand-supply disparity of employment opportunities in India has historically led to lower wage rates but, at the same time, the living standards for the general population have improved.