Work life balance (or the lack of it)

In an upscale lifestyle boutique in south Mumbai, the concept of work-life balance is a bit of a joke.

“So much so that when a friend who works there announced to her colleagues that I was looking for someone to interview for this story, ideally someone who felt that their work-life balance had been compromised, the entire group burst out laughing. That’s because they all had horror stories to share, stories of working overtime for no extra pay or giving up their days off with little to no notice at all.

“I would say it is very difficult to have work-life balance working in retail… there’s probably no work-life balance at all,” my friend, who is 25 and has worked at the store for around nine months, said. She asked to remain anonymous to protect her job.”

In India, where the work-life balance is a crucial issue despite the changing attitudes of men towards housework, this is a sad news. The traditional cooking methods, the lack of proper childcare facilities, longer and more stressful commutes put a lot of stress on families where both the partners work.

“Indeed, five of India’s biggest cities —Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi—rank extremely low when it comes to work-life balance, according to a recent study of 100 cities around the world by the Amsterdam-based consultancy Arcadis. While Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata ranked in the 70s, Mumbai was at number 86 and New Delhi at 87.”

This is indeed a bigger problem in the larger cities where all the problems listed are more severe. The stress that just surviving in those cities puts on families is tremendous and striking a work-life balance is crucial. It is high time we start thinking about this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *