Not just better salaries, Indians need sleep, holidays... and a life

Work and vacations Photograph:( WION )

Delhi, India Nov 30, 2018, 10.42 AM (IST) Sparshita Saxena

It is said that the key to finding happiness is by attaining a state where you learn how to balance the multi-faceted life -- where one necessity does not spill over and consume another. Where you don’t have to let go of your sleep to clock-in mandatory hours at work, or where life doesn’t just become a hallway between work and home.

Statistics show alarming findings on the 'happiness quotient' in people across the world. Some of most progressive countries are also those where people are clocking-in more than 40 hours a week.

India, on an average, has people working for an average 45 hours in a week, which roughly sums up to 8 hours, six days a week or 9 hours for five days in a week. According to the World Happiness Report released earlier this year, Indians aren’t the happiest in the world, on the contrary, the country stands at the 133rd spot out of 156 nations that were analysed for this year’s report.

Indians are the most vacation-deprived in the world with some going without taking a break for over a year.
×

It doesn’t stop at that, a new research shows that Indians are the most vacation-deprived in the world with some going without taking a break for over a year.

Expedia 2018 Vacation Deprivation Report suggests that around 75 per cent vacation deprived people in the world are Indians. Nearly half cited work as the primary reason for not being able to take a break.

The study was conducted across countries in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South America.

Some of the important findings indicate that around 34 per cent Indians who were on a vacation were constantly in touch with their colleagues or checked their work emails at least once a day. Around 64 per cent decide the duration of their vacation on the basis of the impending workload after they resume work from a holiday.

64% Indians decide the duration of their vacation based on the impending workload after they resume work from a vacation.
×

South Korea closely follows India as the second most vacation deprived country with 72 per cent going without getting an adequate break from work. They also make the third top country in the world to be clocking-in highest working hours (2,069 in a year) only after Mexico and Costa Rica.

South Koreans are so marred by the manic pace of their lifestyle, that many are paying as much as $90 to self-confine themselves in mock prisons. For them, a day in a faux jail is the perfect escape.

A Reuters report carried the grim reality that many South Koreans face every day. For 28-year-old Park Hye-ri, the prison gave her a sense of freedom. She had paid $90 just to spend a day locked up in a mock prison.

“I was too busy. I shouldn’t be here right now, given the work I need to do. But I decided to pause and look back at myself for a better life,” Reuters quoted Park.

Unhappiness, dissatisfaction, prolonged work hours, shrinking personal space, lack of sleep and stress, all of it come together to give rise to broken relationships, depression, low-self esteem and lifestyle diseases.
×

The same is true of people across the world. The fear of failure or not achieving enough is becoming so great that most of us are just about ready to sacrifice what we thought we will never end up compromising on.

A perpetual sense of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, prolonged work hours, shrinking personal space, lack of sleep and stress, all of it come together to give rise to broken relationships, depression, low-self esteem and lifestyle diseases.

Today, we need smartphones to help us track the numbers of hours we sleep, the amount of water we drink and the number of steps we walk in a day. Competition has ruined personal equations to an extent that social isolation has become a trend and people take solace in having a smartphone app talk to them into getting some headspace and peace. 

What could be more unfortunate than not being able to revel in the calmness of dawn or celebrate the array of hues that paint the sky during dusk every evening? While it pours outside, we sit confined in our cubicles, we go back home and listen to the unparalleled sounds of nature downloaded on our cellphone; nothing could be more unfortunate. 

You may as well live to the fullest today, because in words of William Butler Yeats, “Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.”


(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

Story highlights

Today, we need smartphones to help us track the numbers of hours we sleep, the amount of water we drink and the number of steps we walk in a day.