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CSR: Work-Life Balance In India V/s the Western Countries

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Work-life balance in India is like a dream that has never come true. In the metro cities of India, where people often end up commuting for 6 hours a day and then work for another 8-9 hours, work acquaintances are more privileged than families. Even if the commute is not too extensive, the competition is so fierce that performers are the only ones that get rewarded. And the pressure to perform above average ends up taking more hours of employees every day, without getting any extra pay or holiday for the same.

According to a study of 100 cities around the world conducted by an Amsterdam-based consultancy Arcadis, five of the biggest cities of India – Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi – ranked extremely low in terms of work-life balance. Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata ranked in the 70s while Mumbai was at 86th rank and New Delhi was at 87th. According to the study, Indians worked for around 2,195 hours on an average each year, whereas in Hamburg, people worked for about 1,473 hours every year, which is among the top three scores.

In a study conducted by EY in 2015, 30% of Indian respondents have revealed that managing work, family and personal responsibilities had become harder in the past five years.

In the western countries, work-life balance is taken very seriously. In Canada, the national press does not work during the weekends. In Germany, the shop closing and opening laws are strictly regulated, where a shop closes at around 6 PM every day and does not open on Sundays or national holidays at all. In 2017, France has introduced a law that allows workers a right to disconnect themselves from work-related messages or emails after working hours. In Netherlands, the work week is 30.3 hours long. In Denmark, the working day is no more than 6.6 hours long, and both the parents are entitled to 23 weeks of maternity or paternity leave.

On paper, several firms in India too have started offering paternity leaves for new fathers. And the maternity leave can be extended for around 6 months. However, in reality, the things aren’t so smooth especially for working women. This is because most working women struggle with a burden of performing at the workplace while taking utmost care of the children, family and household with little help from anyone else. This creates a huge roadblock in the way of achieving work-life balance.

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Regards,
The CSR Journal Team

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