An Australian study conducted last year found that people who work for more than 39 hours a day are putting their health at risk.
Across USA, Australia, Europe & other countries of the developed world, employees tend to work for about 35 – 40 hours a week at an average.
The numbers are quite a shocker for Asian countries like Japan, Korea, India, China, etc. Here it is very common to work for 60 hours a week. In Japan, they have devised a term “karōshi” which means death caused by overwork.12% of employees in Japan work for over 100 hours of unpaid overtime a month.
Lets assume that an individual works for 60 – 65 hours a week (9 hour a day) and spends another 8 hours sleeping, 1hr for for washroom activities, 2 hrs a day in commuting to work (to and forth) and 2hr to prepare and eat your meals. Based on this calculation, only 2hrs per day is left for all the rest. That further means only 700 hours per year for everything else like visiting friends, family, entertainment, watching a documentary or going to a park and all other activities that consist of living a life for oneself.
Important thing to understand here is that everyone goes to work. There is nothing special or glorious about going to work. Surely, it will put money in your pockets but it will not extend your life.
Difference between money and life is pretty simple if you see it through. If you spend money, you can earn it back but if you spend life, you can never earn it back.
Yet, the average retirement age has increased to around 68 years. Just to bring this to perspective, the average lifespan of a human tends to be around 78 years. Just imagine the grim reality of life. We have become machines toiling hard and putting up countless hours for corporations who are growing at an exponential rate. Both Apple and Amazon recently became a trillion dollar company. Many more will follow. The income disparity will only widen with time. Today 1% of the rich own nearly half of the world’s wealth. That is insane to epic proportions. Lives of ordinary will be spent to ensure that this disparity only grows.
If you ask an average working class person about their accomplishments, They will quickly retort to their role play in reducing cost, improving production efficiency, timely delivery, optimized team management and what not. All points highlighting contribution that led to growth of their corporation which does not even exist naturally! We created money, company and host of other things from our imagination in order to cooperate effectively. They do not exist naturally but a piece of paper we collectively accept as entity.
Picture this, thousands of years back when we were primitive with no advanced knowledge of science, We had more idle time to engage in activities which we just cannot do now. Most people today have their meals in less 15 minutes without knowing who is sitting on the table besides you whereas meals + conversations were a 3 hour activity couple of hundred years back.
If thought of it today, it seems darn inefficient but always remember that inefficiency is humane. Life is not a manufacturing process on assembly line that requires efficiency. Apparently, the best part about life is its inherent imperfections and shortcomings.