Hustle culture, also known as “Burnout Culture” or “Toxic Productivity”, has become a massive point of contention. Simply put, hustle culture is all about constantly working and always putting work first.
Despite the illusion of greater achievements, hustle culture in the workplace can create a toxic environment where employees feel like they have to exhaust themselves to fit in and succeed.
Many workplaces can unconsciously create environments where burnouts are commonplace, even without meaning to.
So regardless of whether your business is an online marketing agency in London, a start-up, an E-commerce store or a thriving office environment with seemingly healthy boundaries, numerous considerations need to be taken into account to make sure that you’re avoiding this hustle culture.
What Is Hustle Culture?
This kind of workplace culture invokes a mindset of “more is more” when it comes to work, with people feeling proud to have worked a 20 hour day.
Objectively, we all know this kind of approach to work isn’t healthy, so why has it become so common?
Many of us have been fed the message that anything is possible if you work hard enough, so it seems to make sense that the more hours we work, the further we get towards our goals. But this isn’t always the case.
Why Is It Harmful?
The hustle mentality in a workplace emphasises how early you start work or how late you finish, not the quality of work you complete. Although it may seem favourable to promote a dedicated approach to work, in reality, working long hours can lead to poor mental health, increased anxiety and a negative impact on your overall physical health.
Agency workplaces are often associated with demanding clients, strict deadlines and high expectations, so in this instance, maintaining a healthy workplace is essential.
The ambition behind hustle culture is admirable, but when it comes to having a healthy atmosphere in the workplace, hustle culture falls short.
Whatever your workplace, acknowledging the signs of toxic productivity is a crucial step towards creating healthier habits for your team.
Signs You’re Reinforcing Hustle Culture
- You enjoy telling anyone who’ll listen how ‘busy’ you are
- You say the phrase ‘back-to-back meetings’ more often than you need to
- You expect other people in the workplace to work as hard as you do
- You don’t respect other people’s work-life boundaries
- You’ve normalised working on evenings and weekends
- You’ve bought into the “work hard play hard” lifestyle
If you’re nodding your head while reading these signs, it might be time to make some changes in your workplace.
Avoiding This Workplace Environment
As we emerge from a world of hustle culture that many of us may not even realise we’ve been working in, we must change our attitude to productivity. Consecutively working long hours doesn’t mean that you’re working at your best. In fact, the quality of your work is probably suffering.
The alternative is working smarter – creating a focused time of high productivity that replaces a long day of mindless labour.
Sharing methods for managing workloads with your team is a great way to foster a healthy working environment.
For example, creating a to-do list of tasks that have to be done that day, not including the ones you’d like to get done, is an easy way to make sure you’re not overloading yourself and creating unrealistic expectations from the get-go.
Constantly working is creativity’s worst enemy. If your team doesn’t have the breaks that they need to refresh their mind, they won’t bring new ideas to the table. Planning team events unrelated to work that offer an opportunity to relax and have fun promotes a positive work-life balance.
Making time for mental health training and talking openly about mental health also shows your team that you’re taking their mental health seriously.
The key takeaway is that working long hours isn’t the path to success; efficiency is.
Once your team knows that healthy working habits are encouraged, they can begin to make their own decisions as to what a healthy work-life balance looks like for them.