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7 Meaningful Ways to Reject Hustle Culture at Work

The term ‘hustle culture’ has been used to describe the current work environment in India which is characterized by long hours, high stress levels, and little work-life balance. This culture has been fuelled by the country’s rapidly growing economy and the resulting competition for jobs. The average work week in India is 48 hours, compared to the global average of 40 hours. Indians also work more overtime than workers in any other country, with an average of 7.6 hours of overtime per week. The high stress levels associated with hustle culture have been linked to a range of health problems. 

In a survey of 2,000 working adults conducted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in India, nearly 60% said they had experienced work-related stress in the past year. The lack of work-life balance is a major issue facing workers in India. In the same survey, nearly half of respondents said they did not have enough time for their personal lives. Hustle culture has been criticized for its negative impact on workers’ health and well-being. However, it has also been praised for its role in driving economic growth and creating opportunities for millions of people. In this article, we will study hustle work culture & its impact on our personal lives. We will also see 7 ways to reject it at work.

Understand the Hustle Work Culture

Hustle work culture is the work ethic of people who are always hustling or working hard. The term is often used to describe the culture of start-ups and tech companies, where employees are expected to work long hours and put in extra effort to get the job done. The hustle work culture is often seen as a positive thing, as it can lead to employees being more innovative. However, there are also some downsides to this type of culture, as it can lead to a high amount of stress. Here we can understand the comparison between positive & negative effects of the same.

Positive vs. Negative Effects of Hustle Work Culture 

The positive and negative effects of a hustle work culture will vary depending on the individual and the specific industry in which they work. However, some research suggests that at a time, hustle work culture can have both positive and negative effects on employees. Many people have different opinions about hustle culture’s effects on their lives. Following points can help you understand that:

Positive Effects

A hustle work culture can lead to increased productivity and motivation. Employees who feel like they are part of such a culture are more likely to put in extra effort to meet deadlines and achieve goals. This can lead to higher quality work and greater success for the company. In addition, employees who are part of a hustle culture often feel more connected to their work and more engaged in their jobs. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty to the company. 

In general, Indian employees tend to be highly motivated by a culture of hustle and work hard to meet the requirements of their jobs. This can be seen in data on work hours and productivity. For example, a study by the Boston Consulting Group found that Indian workers put in an average of 2,246 hours per year, compared to 1,976 hours for workers in the United States and 1,609 hours for workers in Germany. This difference is even more pronounced when looking at productivity, with Indian workers being 25% more productive than their American counterparts and 50% more productive than workers in Germany. 

Negative Effects

A hustle work culture can also lead to few health problems. Employees who feel like they are always under pressure to perform can become overwhelmed and exhausted. This can lead to lower quality work and decreased productivity. In addition, employees who are part of a hustle culture may feel like they are not valued for their work-life balance and may be less likely to stay with the company in the long run.

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, nearly 1 in 4 workers in the United States say they’ve experienced burnout at their job. And, Indian employees are even more likely to experience burnout, with nearly 33% saying they’ve experienced it.

Not every employee working in a hustle culture can face burnout or lower quality of work. The effects of a hustle culture depends on individuals capability of performing tasks and their working environment.

7 Ways to Reject Hustle Culture 

Hustle culture has taken over in recent years, with more and more people feeling the need to work longer hours and take on extra projects. While there is nothing wrong with being passionate and wanting to succeed, hustle culture can be detrimental to our physical and mental health. Here are 7 ways to reject hustle culture and take care of yourself:

1. Change your Mindset

One of the first things you can do to reject hustle culture is to change your mindset. Instead of feeling like you always need to be working and hustling, take a step back and assess what is truly important to you. What are your goals and what do you want to achieve? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start to focus on what is necessary to achieve them. This will help to prevent you from overworking yourself and burning out.

2. Do not Overwork

The most important thing to remember when rejecting hustle culture is to not overwork yourself. Yes, it is important to be ambitious and to work hard, but you also need to take care of yourself. Make sure to not work more hours than you are physically and mentally able to. Health is more important than work, it doesn’t even make sense of risking your personal health by overworking.

3. Set Boundaries

One way to reject hustle culture is to set boundaries. This means knowing your limits and sticking to them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and assess what you can realistically handle. Then, communicate your needs to your boss or team. Let them know that you’re not comfortable taking on extra work right now and explain why. This will help them to understand your situation and respect your boundaries.

4. Communicate

Another way to reject hustle culture is to communicate your needs. This means being honest about how you’re feeling and what you need in order to be successful. If you’re feeling suffocated, explain your situation to your Manager. You can try to tell them that you need more support or more time to complete your tasks. This can help them to understand you and make adjustments accordingly.

5. Necessary Short Breaks

Make sure to take breaks when you need them. This means taking a few minutes to yourself every now and then, or even taking a sick day when you are feeling run down. It is important to listen to your body or you will quickly burn out. Taking a few short breaks can help you to feel fresh and relieve stress.

6. Don’t Feel Guilt

One of the biggest problems with hustle work culture is the guilt that comes with taking a break. We’re made to feel like we should always be working, so when we take a break, we feel like we’re not doing enough. But it’s important to remember that taking a break is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s essential for our well-being. When we take a break, we’re able to recharge and come back to our work with fresh energy and ideas.

So if you need to take a break, don’t feel guilty about it. You’re not being lazy or unproductive. You’re taking care of yourself, which is the most important thing you can do.

7. Listen to your Mind & Body

Another problem with hustle culture is that it doesn’t take into account our mind and body. We’re told to push through, to power through, to never give up. But our mind and body are not machines. They can’t keep going indefinitely. That’s why it’s important to listen to our mind and body when we’re feeling exhausted. If we push ourselves too hard, we’ll only end up burning out.

So if you’re feeling tired, try to do something else. If you need to rest, do it. Your mind and body will thank you for it. Rejecting hustle culture is not easy. But it’s important for our well-being. By listening to our mind and body, we can sustain our hustle in the long run.

Related Article:
Everything you Need to Tackle a Hostile Work Environment

5 Signs that you’re Succumbing to Hustle Culture

The growing trend of people working more than they can and taking on multiple jobs can be another definition of hustle culture. This term can often imply a dedication to one’s work. However, there is a dark side to hustle culture. People who are caught up in hustle culture may find themselves working with little to no rest, and they may also sacrifice their personal time in order to succeed. Here are five signs that you may be succumbing to hustle culture:

1. You’re Working Long Hours with Little Rest

If you’re working long hours and finding yourself exhausted, it may be a sign that you’re succumbing to hustle culture. People who are caught up in hustle culture often try to work beyond their limits to earn more money, which can lead to fatigue. If you’re working long hours and not taking care of yourself, it’s important to take a step back and reassess your priorities.

2. You’re Sacrificing your Personal Life

If you’re sacrificing your personal life for work, it’s also a sign that you’re succumbing to hustle culture. This is because hustle culture encourages people to put work before their personal lives. This can lead to neglecting your relationships, your health, and your own wellbeing. So don’t ever sacrifice your personal life, make sure to maintain a good work life balance.

3. You’re Feeling Stressed and Anxious

It may be a sign that you’re surrendering to hustle culture if you’re finding that you’re constantly feeling stressed and anxious. When we’re constantly trying to be more successful, it can be easy to forget our own mental and emotional needs. This can lead to us feeling overwhelmed, as we try to keep up with everything that we’ve taken on. If you’re finding that you’re struggling to cope with the amount of responsibility that you have, it’s important to reject hustle work.

4. You’re Not Taking Care of Yourself

When we’re caught up in hustle culture, it’s easy to neglect our own wellbeing. We might find ourselves skipping meals, not getting enough sleep, and not taking time to exercise or relax. This can be detrimental to our health in the long run, as it can lead to us feeling burnt out and exhausted. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s important to make some changes. Start by making sure that you’re eating regular meals, getting enough sleep, and taking some time for yourself each day.

5. You’re Feeling Like you’re Not Good Enough

One of the biggest signs that you’re succumbing to hustle culture is if you’re starting to feel like you’re not good enough. When we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others, it can be easy to feel like we’re not measuring up. This can lead to feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, which can be risky to our mental health. If you’re starting to feel like you’re not good enough, it’s important to remind yourself that everyone is on their own journey. Focus on your own progress, and celebrate your own successes, instead of comparing yourself to others.

4 Harmful Effects of Hustle Culture

Hustle culture is driven by the belief that if you’re not working 24/7, you’re not doing enough. A 2018 study found that people who are always on the go are more likely to report feeling lonely and disconnected from others. When we constantly overwork, we can’t catch how a hustle work culture is affecting our health, but slowly it is. Here you can understand 4 harmful effects of a hustle culture:

  • It Leads to Poor Physical Health

The long hours and high levels of stress can lead to a number of health problems, including sleep deprivation, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, people who are constantly under stress are more susceptible to developing chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and hypertension. Human bodies need time to rest and recharge, but hustle culture doesn’t allow for that. This can even lead to depression.

  • It’s Not Productive

Despite what hustle culture would have you believe, working around the clock is not productive. In fact, it can actually lead to less productivity. When we’re tired, our brains are not able to function as well. This can lead to mistakes, missed deadlines, and overall poorer work. Additionally, the lack of work-life balance can make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which can further decrease productivity.

  • It’s Detrimental to Relationships

Hustle culture can also be detrimental to our relationships. When we’re always working, we don’t have time for the people we love. This can lead to distance in our relationships and eventually, to their downfall. Additionally, the constant pressure to perform can make it difficult to spend time with friends and family. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

  • It Can be Addictive

When people are constantly hustling, they may start to feel like they need to keep going and going. They may feel like they can’t stop and that they have to keep pushing themselves. This can lead to them becoming addicted to the hustle and feeling like they can’t live without it.


Hustle culture has become normalized in today’s society, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It’s important to be aware of the harmful effects of hustle culture so that we can make changes in our lives to protect our mental and physical health. Keep in mind that there is nothing in front of your good health and healthy relationships. Try to balance your work-life and spend time with your loved ones. Perform tasks that are required and schedule a proper work method to avoid working extra. 


1. How to know if hustle work culture is toxic?

If it can create an environment where employees are constantly under pressure to perform and are never able to relax or take a break, then you can say that hustle culture is toxic. 

2. What are some best practices for hustle work culture?

There is no single answer to this question as each company culture is unique. However, some best practices for creating a hustle work culture include setting clear expectations for employees, providing opportunities for employees to grow and develop, and fostering a culture of collaboration and teamwork. Additionally, it is important to create a company culture that is supportive and positive, where employees feel appreciated and valued.

3. What are some benefits of a hustle work culture?

First of all, it’s not beneficial for every employee, this culture can impact everyone differently. But, there are few benefits of a hustle work culture: 

  • It creates a sense of urgency and energy within the company
  • This can be motivating for employees and help them stay focused on their work
  • Hustle culture can help to create a more competitive and productive environment
  • It can also help to build team morale and camaraderie 
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