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An "unhealthy" trend? Indian youth's working hours are longest in the world, says Manpower Group study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent study, “Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision - Facts, Figures and Practical Advice from Workforce Experts”, has found that, among those who had achieved adulthood around the year 2000, Indians top the list of doing work for the longest hours than all other countries surveyed.
The study, carried out by the Manpower Group, says, “Indian Millennials claim the longest working week and Australians the shortest – on average 52 and 41 hours a week respectively. It adds, “Seventy-three percent report working more than 40 hours a week, and nearly a quarter work over 50 hours.”
While the Manpower Group’s study does not pass judgment on whether working longer hours increases productivity, researchers have found, it is “a cruel twist of fate” , that people who regularly put in more hour work of work “can often end up less productive than staff members who head home at 5pm every day.”
A Harvard Business Review article based on a published research on the subject says, that “not only is there no evidence to suggest that working for longer increases productivity, there's also a whole slew of research out there that demonstrates the opposite.”
A global consultancy firm with offices in several countries, including India (Gurgaon), stating its purpose, the Manpower Group says, “We wanted to understand how different they are or aren’t from the rest of the workforce and from generations before them.”
The study claims, the sample – 19,000 working Millennials and 1,500 hiring managers – “represented all working Millennials; not just the top percent of tech-savvy earners, but also the graduates and non-graduates across all industries, income and education levels.”
“Millennials are surprisingly upbeat about their careers”, the study states, adding, “Two-thirds are optimistic about their immediate job prospects. Sixty-two percent are confident that if they lost their main source of income tomorrow they could find equally good or better work within three months.”
A country-wise breakup suggests, according to the study, “Millennials in Mexico, China, Switzerland and Germany are the most positive, while those in Japan, Greece and Italy are the least positive—a reflection of economic, political and cultural factors in these countries. The majority of Millennials globally see a promising future and successful careers ahead.”
How Millennials view their future
Japan’s 37 per cent of Millennials said they expected to work till they died, followed by China 18 per cent, Greece 15 per cent, Canada, India and Singapore 14 per cent each, Italy, Netherlands, UK and USA 12 per cent each, Australia 11 per cent, Brazil 10 per cent, Germany and Norway 9 per cent each, France and Mexico 8 per cent each, and Spain just 3 per cent.
“Globally”, the study says, “Millennial workplace priorities vary. Working with great people is important to 91% in Brazil, yet to only 55% in Japan. Retirement policies matter to 39% of Japanese and half of Australians, in contrast with more than 85% of Indians.”
“Purpose matters too”, the study says, adding, “Eight in 10 Millennials in Mexico, India and Brazil say working for employers who are socially responsible and aligned to their values is important. In Germany, the Netherlands and Norway it’s six in 10. A majority of Millennials everywhere say purpose is a priority.”

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