China Steps In To Regulate Brutal ‘996’ Work Culture – What Is 996 Work Culture?

what is 996 work culture? The 996 work culture is a relatively new concept in China. Most Chinese workers are not familiar with it and have no idea what the term means.

If you’re working in China, or considering moving there to take advantage of its growing economy, then you need to know about What is 996 work culture before it impacts your life.

It’s important for everyone involved to be aware of this cultural shift so they can adjust their expectations accordingly.

This article will help explain everything you need to know about the 996 work culture in China today, including how it got started and why companies like Tencent are using this model as an incentive for employees who want more vacation time without sacrificing their career opportunities.

what is 996 work culture
what is 996 work culture

What is 996 work culture in China?

What is 996 work culture? The term 996 is a reference to the fact that Chinese workers in tech companies are expected to work from 9 am until 9 pm, six days per week.

Overtime is mandatory and all 60-minute lunches must be eaten at your desk.

Many consider this an overly demanding work schedule because it’s not accompanied by generous pay and a long list of available benefits.

The 996 work culture is a relatively new concept in China. Most Chinese workers are not familiar with it and have no idea what the term means.

If you’re working in China, or considering moving there to take advantage of its growing economy, then you need to know about the 996 work culture before it impacts your life. It’s important for everyone involved to be aware of this cultural shift so they can adjust their expectations accordingly.

China needs its workers to stay competitive.

The widespread backlash has not sat well with Beijing, which strives to maintain social stability – all the more crucial given the sheer number of people working in the digital economy.

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China needs its workers to stay competitive.

So in August, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) announced that it would publish new guidelines aimed at curbing working hour abuse in certain industries, including tech companies.

The ministry said that employees could start suing their employers if they worked more than 40 hours per week without paying overtime and if their employer did not provide a safe working environment.

According to the new rules, workers would be entitled to additional pay after eight hours of overtime per day and could sue employers for illegally long work hours.

The law was passed in response to the growing number of worker protests sparked by unfair labor practices such as mandatory unpaid overtime and unpaid sick leave, as well as excessive management interference in workers’ personal lives.

Why do companies have a 996 work culture in China?

Many companies implement the What is 996 work culture to retain employees who are willing to forgo financial benefits in order to focus on their careers.

The 996 work culture is used as an incentive for employees looking to climb corporate ladders faster than their colleagues working standard office hours.

It’s no secret that young workers worry more about career advancement than retirement plans and other benefits. As a result, the 996 work culture has become increasingly popular among companies looking to hire and retain top talent in China.

Most entry-level employees earn around $450 per month without many available benefits , while experienced employees can make two or three times as much .

But even with these wages, Chinese workers are willing to forgo basic benefits like annual leave and maternity leave – as well as social security, housing funds and medical insurance – in order to gain opportunities for career advancement.

Today the 996 work culture is a popular recruitment tactic that allows companies to attract ambitious young employees who are willing to trade their financial needs for a chance at rapid career development.

What is required of employees when the 996 work culture becomes mandatory?

The truth is that employee performance has very little to do with time spent working and much more to do with energy and creativity.

Obviously, if you’re putting in 10 hours every day but working at 50% capacity, then it’s better for your employer to hire someone who can produce the same results with only one hour of work per day.

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What is 996 work culture? The 996 work culture is not just about how many hours employees spend at their desk each day. It’s about how much energy they bring to their work.

The 996 work culture is not just about how many hours employees spend at their desk each day. It’s about how much energy they bring to their work.

If you’re working yourself to the bone producing mediocre results, then your employer would be wise  to hire someone more efficient.

Employees’ health is also likely to suffer in the 996 work culture. Constant stress, fatigue and burnout take an obvious toll on productivity levels – no matter how many hours per day someone works.

Why is ‘996 work culture’ a problem?

Why is ‘996 work culture’ a problem?
Why is ‘996 work culture’ a problem?

The 996 work culture can lead to increased mistakes and a higher turnover rate.

Since the Chinese tech industry is still relatively young, many employees are not yet familiar with the demands of international companies . As a result, they may make careless errors that would be unacceptable in more established markets.

What’s more, China doesn’t have any labor laws governing work hours. Traditionally, employees in China don’t expect to receive the same protections as those in Western countries – such as annual leave and maternity leave – which can cause friction between employees and employers.

The lack of labor laws also means that management is free to take a hands-on approach with their workers, requiring them to stay well past standard office hours.

Many companies justify the 996 work culture by claiming that employees are more productive when they aren’t wasting time commuting or on vacation, but there’s no evidence to back these claims up.

How does the 996 work culture affect workers in China?

How does the 996 work culture affect workers in China?
How does the 996 work culture affect workers in China?

For the most part, companies that maintain an abusive 996 work culture are likely to suffer financially.

Their workers will keep leaving for better opportunities and having a high turnover rate is incredibly expensive.

The problem is compounded because many of these companies require specialized skills so they can’t easily replace their employees with new hires who have experience working in a 996 work culture.

In order to avoid this kind of financial headache, companies increasingly need to adjust their expectations about what 40 hours per week actually means in China.

The challenges of working under a 996 work culture

The challenges of working under a 996 work culture may also discourage workers from seeking promotion and move into roles where their time is valued more highly.

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Local governments, which rely heavily on the tech industry for tax revenue and economic growth, may need to step in to provide employees with better support and guidance about what working hours are reasonable .

Will there be changes?

Many companies are already reevaluating their 996 work culture, but they need to be careful What is 996 work culture, how it affect to your company.

If they make too many accommodations in favor of their employees , it could encourage high-performing workers to seek new opportunities elsewhere .

The key for employers is finding a happy medium where office hours are sustainable and productive.

Employees’ motivations are also likely to be affected by the 996 culture.

They may choose to work for an international company that treats its staff well, rather than staying in China.

If companies want to attract and retain top talent, they need to take action now before it’s too late.

FAQ

What does 996 mean?

A Chinese work culture has evolved around 9am to 9pm, six days a week. It’s become very common at local start-ups and tech companies, but it is also starting to seep into other industries.

How many hours per week do Chinese work?

It varies, but the average person in China works 49 hours per week.

Is a 996 illegal?

China does not have any laws regulating the number of hours someone can work.

Does China pay overtime?

The typical workday should last up to eight hours, but people can still work 12 hours or more without getting paid for it. The law require that if someone work more than 8 hours a day must be paid at 1.5 times normal working wage.

What country has the shortest work week?

The Netherlands has the shortest work week at 29 hours per week.

Conclusion

There is currently no legislation in China which govern work hours so it is up to the company and employees to come to an agreement on what constitutes a 40 hour week. With that said, if you are considering many of new hires or promotions, be sure to research their previous work ethic and availability.

As companies adjust their expectations, do your research to ensure that each candidate’s workload will be sustainable. While it is unlikely that China will change its official work week, companies can take steps to improve their culture and ensure employees are happy and fulfilled.

 

 

 

 

 

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