A 70 hour work week?

A 70 hour work week?

Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash


First, Alibaba founder Jack Ma demanded tech workers follow “996”, a schedule of 9:00am to 9:00pm, six days a week. Then Elon Musk asked workers at Twitter—now X—to commit to long working hours at a “high intensity.” And late last year, Tencent CEO Pony Ma complained that his employees were taking it easy on the weekends as the broader company struggled.

Now, another tech founder is chiming in on allegedly lazy workers. Narayana Murthy, founder of IT consultancy Infosys, thinks employees need to work a 70-hour work week—and should do so out of pride for their country.

“Our youngsters must say ‘This is my country, I want to work 70-hours a week’,” Murthy said in an interview with Indian venture capital firm 3one4 Capital, published on Thursday.



Work from 9a to 9p six days a week. Work long hours at a high intensity. Don’t relax on the weekend. Volunteer to work 70 hours a week.



Indian workers spend about 43% of their time engaged in “performative work”, the highest among markets surveyed by Slack and research firm Qualtrics. On average, employees globally spend about 32% of their time looking busy rather than working, according to the report.

-Yahoo Finance, Ibid.


It is astonishing the amount of time that gets wasted on:

  • Meetings with no purpose/agenda
  • Camping out on Slack channels
  • Requiring the meeting attendance of people who aren’t even involved in the project
  • Forcing people to be on video when an email could do
  • “Brainstorming” sessions with way too many cooks in the kitchen
  • Recurring meetings that are never audited – they’re simply kept on everyone’s calendar with no thought as to whether those meetings need to happen
  • Lunch & learns where the food sucks and nothing is learned
  • Forced fun activities / social media photo opps / “look at how much fun we’re having” mandatory events
  • Vanity metrics / ticky marks in a database / compiling reports that are useless


There’s no need to bump up a 40 hour work week to a 70 hour work week. The key is to eliminate bullsh*t nonsense that doesn’t actually help anyone or generate profits for the company. Methinks a lot of this push towards “encouraging” workers to work more is about compliance and control, not about productivity. If the corporate world truly cared about productivity as much as it claims to, a lot of these ridiculous time-wasters would be nixed.

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