Why is it important: It is no secret that the work culture in many Chinese companies is completely inappropriate for employees, and many of them are forced to work overtime. A new protest has shed light on such working conditions, especially for Chinese software developers.
A protest called WorkingTime allowed workers to contribute to a spreadsheet that Details working conditions for hundreds of companies. Developers looking for work will benefit from the clarity presented in the project in terms of how many hours of work are expected for certain technology companies.
“The lack of transparency of working hours in some companies, working hours is a very important factor when choosing an offer,” – said the founder of the project on the Chinese site of questions and answers.
The identity of those behind WorkingTime remains a mystery, but their efforts have had a significant impact on workers. It has already received over 10 million views, culminating in thousands of entries.
V spreadsheet records how many hours employees work during the week. Details of breaks as well as job descriptions are also included. While some confirm that the workweek is about 40 hours – with benefits such as housing subsidies – others reported that several companies maintain long hours.
Those who have contributed to WorkingTime are employees of some of China’s largest tech giants such as Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, and Bytedance. The project includes global conglomerates such as Dyson, Intel and IBM.
“I often go on business trips. I’ve been on a business trip for half a month now. Every night after 10 o’clock I leave work at the customer’s place. I have to work overtime on weekends. The entire department worked for two years. except for managers, ”wrote one employee.
“It is imperative to keep people on duty every night, all staff must work overtime every Saturday, no overtime is charged, and the working hours exceed 10 hours,” added another person. One worker also states that if the daily workload cannot be done in his firm, overtime work at home is required.
In China, many businesses require 72-hour workweeks from their employees. The schedule, otherwise known as “996”, has created a work culture in which employees work from 9 am to 9 pm for six days a week. To make matters worse, these extended hours do not include overtime payments.
A Chinese court recently ruled that such an arrangement was illegal; he limited overtime to 36 hours a month, with compensation required for anyone working overtime. However, since independent trade unions are unacceptable in the region, the “996” practice continues due to limited oversight.
South Korea is also known for such harsh working conditions. To combat the culture of overtime, the country has adopted a “closure initiative” that limits the number of hours government employees must work.
Japan is another country that is not alien to excessive working hours. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s experiment for its employees in Japan resulted in a 40 percent increase in productivity thanks to a four-day work week.