A report by the Universal Bank in Switzerland surveyed more than 70 cities across the world and concluded that the citizens of Mumbai worked the longest at 3,315 hours per annum. The residents of Mumbai city and perhaps all Indians work long hours compared to other countries.
I think this is principally because we are a poor country. Life is hard in India, due to low income levels, inflation and hardly any benefits from the government. Hence, Indians will work long hours.
Salaries in India at middle and lower levels are about half to one-third of salaries in the Middle East, Europe and USA. However, increasingly costs are getting aligned globally.
For instance a branded laptop or mobile phone costs the same across the world in dollars or rupees. Despite promises by successive governments, the prices of food and fuel keep increasing every year. Thus, we have to work harder, just to stay where we are economically.
We continue to work even in our old age, unless we have children who can support us. There are some possibilities of work-life balance, even under these stiff circumstances.
The horrendous state of transport in the city of Mumbai is also a deterrent to many people going out over the weekends. Visiting a friend for an hour, could entail spending two to three hours in the traffic. So, I guess, it is the destiny of the current generation to just work hard and save for the future.
— The reader is a resident of India