In India, work culture has tremendously changed in the past few years. With the rise of corporates and startups, people are working longer hours to prove their mettle and meet deadlines. Unfortunately, this culture comes with a downside of feeling guilty when someone takes a break or leave.
According to a study by Randstad India, about 35 to 40 percent of Indian professionals feel guilty about taking time off from work or asking for the same from their bosses.
The guilt factor seems to have taken deep roots in employees’ minds, even though companies have policies associated with casual leaves and sick leaves. Nevertheless, the thought lingers that if you take leave for personal reasons or emergencies, it suggests one is not prioritizing your work enough.
Employees Feeling Compulsive Toward Professional Obligations
Fear also arises around losing important clients/projects because people cannot be reached when needed. These factors make employees feel compulsive towards professional obligations, thus completely ignoring self-care.
According to Expedia’s 2018 report on vacation deprivation, Indians perceive themselves to be the most deprived of vacations in the world and claim that they barely take any time off.
This sentiment is echoed by 75% of Indians, making them the highest percentage compared to other countries such as South Korea and Hong Kong. The annual report, which covers a total of 19 countries, indicates an increase in vacation deprivation globally.
Indian Employees Are Obsessed With External Validation!
Since most Indian employees rely heavily on external validation through promotions, ratings, and peer recognition, failure rates seem high, coupled with limited access to mental well-being!
Particularly during overtime stretching long hours without adequate rest may ultimately hamper productivity levels, leaving cracks falling short. This reinforces society-based stigmas regarding ideal worker profiles compounding anxiety burdens.
Finding ways to normalize flexible workspace policies that promote self-care practices can counteract toxic organizational cultures. This helps individuals to realize what ‘productive human capital’ looks like, which aligns with a better understanding empathetic environment.
In addition, employees should be offered avenues to have confidential conversations to allay fears surrounding requests to build trust between the two parties.
In addition, employers must also begin to think about providing holistic benefits beyond increasing wages, as this is recognized as a key driver of motivating well-being and effectiveness. These may introduce financial propositions for mental health practices as self-funded therapy sessions are still out of reach for many. Aligning corporate values with employee-focused restructuring can help create a positive work environment, thus reducing unnecessary stress on personnel.