Student’s viral video says work is a like an ‘endless loop’—but does he have a point?


For one elementary school student in China, getting rich is just a way to escape “meaninglessness of life,” he said during a class assembly.

As part of a public speaking that went viral on Chinese social media, the unnamed student said people work too hard to see too little return, and he feels pressured and exhausted by life, reported.

“Start early, return home late, unable to guarantee a good salary,” he reportedly said. “Life is like being inside a prison cell. After doing the same thing every day, it becomes so that life has no meaning whatsoever.”

“I am not going to be as grandiose as the people before me who have said they will give away money upon becoming wealthy,” he added. “Money is hard to come by, so why would I earn it just to give it to someone else? That’s not practical.”

The student wore a red scarf, a sign he was a part of the Young Pioneers of China, a communist group for youngsters. “I want to be rich to overcome the meaninglessness of life,” the student also said, Reuters reported, adding that one man in the crowd called out, “We’re finished!”

The student’s speech may have been pessimistic, even nihilistic, but previous research does suggest people, particularly young people, overwork themselves. Being too busy has become a status symbol among many people in the U.S., some workplace consultants suggest, and people have become addicted to working.

Millennials in particular are proud of seeing themselves as “work martyrs,” according to a 2016 survey by 5,000 full-time employees with paid time off Project: Time Off, an initiative that’s part of the U.S. Travel Association, and market researcher GfK.

These younger workers were likely to agree with statements such as “No one else at my company can do the work while I’m away,” and “I feel guilty for using my paid time off.” Nearly half of the respondents (43%) considered “martyrs” were millennials, compared with 29% of all respondents.

Overworking is commonplace around the globe. Mexicans spend 2,255 hours at work per year (or around 43 hours a week), according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, followed by Costa Rica at (2,212 hours) and Korea (2,069 hours).

Employees in Greece had the longest hours of those in Europe, with 2,035 hours per year. The United States averaged 1,783 hours per year, or about 34 hours a week. The U.S. was ranked 15th out of 36 countries.

Still, half of Americans find themselves burned out, according a survey of more than 2,000 workers by Staples Advantage, especially when coupled with low wages and long days at the office.

Don’t be fooled. Overworking doesn’t benefit employees or their companies, and can be detrimental for a person’s health. Managers had trouble deciphering which employees worked 80 hours a week and those who only said they did so, a study of consultants by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business released in 2015, found.

Exhausting yourself can also make working harder, especially if your job relies on interpersonal communication, researchers found.

Source : MTV