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New trends in work culture

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Society/ Social Justice/ Ethics


Direction: The terms given in this article have continuously been in news. Try to understand them. These can be useful in society GS1, Social Justice GS2 and Ethics papers.

 Context:  In contemporary times, work, job, or labour have taken different forms giving rise to new terminologies, issues, challenges and sometimes debate.

 What is Work Culture?

Attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that make up the regular atmosphere in a work environment are what we all know as work culture.

  • Quiet quitting, Quiet firing, moonlighting, Hustle culture, Eighteen-hour work debate and work-life balance have appeared frequently in the past few months.

Quiet Quitting:

Quiet quitting refers to employees doing the bare minimum required of them.

  • g. leaving work exactly at the end of one’s shift, demanding additional pay for extra work, and/or setting clear work-life boundaries.


Reasons for quiet quitting:

  • Changing work culture: The pandemic introduced many challenges that both increased what is demanded of employees, and allowed them to reimagine what alternative work systems could look like.
  • Impact of Remote Work: increased the number of hours employees spend working, thus contributing to increased levels of burnout.
  • Apathetic attitude of employers: Dissatisfaction among employees who believe their managers have little concern for employee welfare.



Moonlighting is the act of working at an extra job beyond regular working hours, usually without the knowledge of the employer. Since the side job was mostly at night time or on weekends, it was referred to as moonlighting.


Why do people moonlight?

  • Earn more money: The main reason for going above and beyond an existing job is earning more money.
  • Learn new skills: working in a different role can allow a person to develop new skills, explore related domains and connect with more people.

Why are employers not happy?

  • Employers are suspicious of this practice often because it can mean that a worker may not give their organisation the time it needs, and not give any extra time to either organisation.



’18 hours work’ debate and hustle culture


Hustle culture is defined as one that encourages employees to work more than normal working hours.

  • Work is on their minds even when they have free time or on holidays.
  • The major requirement of this culture is to complete a job on target at a faster pace than usual.


A LinkedIn post by the CEO of a company advising youngsters to work 18 hours a day, at least for four to five years initially in their career, faced a backlash and was ridiculed.


What does WHO study on long working hours say?

  • 745,000 people died from a stroke and heart disease associated with long working hours in 2016
  • Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard
  • Capping hours would be beneficial for employers since that has been shown to increase worker productivity.


Why is it important to have a work-life balance?

Siddhartha S, an author of 5 books — ’60 Keys to Success with NLP’, ‘Thank God it’s Monday’, and many others suggest:

  1.  Work-life balance is critical
  2.   Put health before wealth
  3. Devise an incentive system if you want employees to work extra hours
  4. Success has different meanings for different people: Economic success is not the only yardstick to measure the success of human life.
  5. Entrepreneur and employee mindsets are different: If an employee has to work 70+ hours for a basic salary, then it is not a great idea. The employee may as well take the entrepreneurship path where there is an opportunity to create a company and to keep the profits.


Mains Link:

Q. Do you think rejecting hustle culture youngsters or going for moonlighting is rejecting the idea of work is worship embedded in Indian Culture? Discuss. 10M