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“996”不是“福報”

The Richest Man in China Is Wrong. 12-Hour Days Are No ‘Blessing.’
“996”不是“福報”

Jack Ma, the richest man in China and founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, is a big fan of extreme overwork. He recently praised China’s “996” practice, so called because it refers to those who put in 12-hour days — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — six days a week. This “is not a problem,” he said in a recent blog post, instead calling it a “blessing.”

中國首富、電子商務公司阿里巴巴創始人馬云非常推崇極度過勞的工作方式。他最近贊揚了中國的“996”,意思是每天工作12小時,從早9點到晚9點,每周工作6天。他在最近的一篇博客文章中寫道,這“不是問題”,而是一種“福報”。

The response from others in China was swift. “If all enterprises enforce a 996 schedule, no one will have children,” one person argued on the same platform. “Did you ever think about the elderly at home who need care, the children who need company?” It even prompted a response from Chinese state media, which reminded everyone, “The mandatory enforcement of 996 overtime culture not only reflects the arrogance of business managers, but also is unfair and impractical.”

這在中國立刻引發了反響?!叭绻衅髽I都996,就沒人生孩子了,”有人在同一平臺上表示?!澳阆霙]想過還要照顧老人,陪孩子?”這甚至引起了中國官方媒體的回應,它提醒所有人:“強制灌輸‘996’的加班文化,不僅體現了企業管理者的傲慢,也不實際、不公平?!?/P>

Managers who think like Mr. Ma can be found the world over. Here at home, Elon Musk, a co-founder of Tesla, has argued that “nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.” Uber reportedly used to use the internal mantra “Work smarter, harder and longer.” (It’s now just “smarter” and “harder.”) The company has also rebranded second jobs as clever “side hustles.” WeWork decorates its co-working spaces with phrases like, “Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you are done.” Other tech and business gurus try to sell us on “toil glamour.”

像馬云這樣思考的管理者在世界各地都有。在美國,特斯拉(Tesla)聯合創始人埃隆·馬斯克(Elon Musk)曾表示,“沒有人能靠每周工作40小時改變世界?!睋蟮?,優步(Uber)曾使用“更聰明、更努力、更長久地工作”作為內部口號(現在只剩下“更聰明”和“更努力”)。該公司還把第二職業重新塑造為聰明的“副業”。WeWork用來裝飾其合作辦公空間的,是這樣的格言:“不要在累的時候停下來,要在完成的時候停下來?!逼渌萍己蜕虡I導師也試圖向我們推銷“辛勞的魅力”。

The truth is that they’re all wrong. Workers certainly suffer when forced to put in extreme hours. But business fares just as poorly. No one benefits from people pushing themselves to the brink of exhaustion.

事實上他們都錯了。被迫加班肯定會令工人痛苦。但企業從中獲得的收益也相當小。沒有誰能從處于精疲力竭邊緣的人身上受益。

One of the reasons Mr. Ma says he supports 996 culture is people who work longer get the “rewards of hard work.” But they are apparently not in store for monetary rewards: A group of academics just released research finding that working longer hours than someone else in the same job doesn’t earn you more money; instead it leads to a 1 percent decrease in wages. Another analysis similarly found that after 40 hours a week, there isn’t a clear financial return to clocking more hours. Excessive work effort has even been linked, perversely, to worse career outcomes.

紐約時報中英文網 www.244129.buzz

馬云說,他支持“996”文化的原因之一是,工作時間更長的人會得到努力工作的“回報”。但是等待他們的顯然不是金錢回報:一組學者剛剛公布的研究發現,在同一個崗位上工作時間比其他人長并不會讓你賺到更多錢;相反,它會導致工資下降1%。另一項類似的分析發現,每周工作40小時之外增加的工作時間并沒有明顯的經濟回報。不合人意的是,過度工作甚至與更糟糕的職業結果相關。

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also warned that putting in extra hours is associated with poorer health, including weight gain and higher alcohol and tobacco use, and increased injury, illness and even mortality. Health researchers have found that overwork is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

美國疾病控制與預防中心(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)也警告,加班與健康狀況變差相關,包括體重增加,煙酒消費量增加,以及受傷、患病甚至死亡增加。健康研究人員發現,工作過度會增加患心臟病和中風的風險。

Mr. Ma went so far in his post as to say that those who aren’t willing to put in such long hours need not apply to work at Alibaba. He’s only shooting himself in the foot.

馬云甚至表示,不愿長時間工作的人不必申請阿里巴巴的工作。他這是在搬起石頭砸自己的腳。

There’s a ceiling on how much more someone can get done by simply spending more time at work. After about 48 hours a week, a worker’s output drops sharply, according to a Stanford economist. Other research has appeared to support this finding. While there may be an initial burst of activity from overworking, people who work more than 55 hours a week perform worse than those who go home at a normal hour and get some rest.

一個人在工作上多花時間,究竟能夠多做多少事,這是有上限的。斯坦福大學的一位經濟學家說,一周工作48小時后,工人的產出會大幅下降。其他研究似乎也支持這一發現。超時工作在一開始可能帶來大量活躍勞動,但每周工作超過55小時的人比在正常時間回家休息的人表現要差。

There are other costs to employers. An elder-care facility in Sweden that tried a six-hour workday reportedly found that nurses took fewer sick days and were more productive. Fatigued workers cost employers $100 billion in lost productivity.

雇主還要支付其他成本。據報道,瑞典一家老年護理機構嘗試每天工作6小時,結果發現護士請病假更少,工作效率更高。在美國,疲勞的工人使雇主損失了價值1000億美元的生產力。

This all became obvious to the American business community long ago. As strong unions pushed for a 40-hour workweek in the 1800s, business leaders who acquiesced found that their companies became significantly more profitable and productive. In 1914, Henry Ford took the lessons of these natural experiments to heart and cut shifts in his plants to eight hours without reducing pay, leading to an output boom. By 1938, that 40-hour workweek was enshrined into law by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires time-and-a-half pay beyond that threshold.

美國商界很久以前就看到了這一點。19世紀,強大的工會推動每周工作40小時,默許這一做法的商界領袖發現,公司的贏利能力和生產率顯著提高。1914年,亨利·福特(Henry Ford)吸取這些自然實驗的經驗,在不減薪的情況下,將工人每班工作時間減少到8小時,帶來了產量激增。到1938年,《公平勞動標準法》(Fair Labor Standards Act)將每周40小時工作時間寫入了法律,并要求超過這個標準的工作時間需支付1.5倍的報酬。

The strength of the law has been whittled away over recent decades, however, to the point that millions fewer Americans are guaranteed extra pay for extra work than in 1979. That allows employers to push more employees to put in more hours essentially free. President Barack Obama proposed an update in 2016 that would have offered new or strengthened overtime protection to over 13 million workers; it was struck down by the courts, and President Trump’s version, proposed in March, will help 8.2 million fewer workers, thanks to a lower salary threshold and a failure to index it to inflation.

然而,近幾十年來,這項法律的效力被逐漸削弱,以至于與1979年相比,其額外工作有獲得額外報酬保障的美國人減少了數百萬。這使得雇主可以推動更多員工花更多時間工作,基本上是免費的。美國總統貝拉克·奧巴馬(Barack Obama)在2016年提出了一項更新方案,為逾1300萬名工人提供新的或得以強化的加班保護;該法案被法院否決,特朗普總統今年3月提出的版本能夠幫助的工人要少820萬人,原因是較低的工資門檻,而且未能與通脹掛鉤。

Business leaders seem to have forgotten the lessons they learned in the past: Humane schedules benefit employee and employer alike. China may have its 996 culture, but the United States doesn’t fare much better. Nearly a third of us put in 45 hours or more each week, while nearly 10 million clock 60 or more. The average European puts in between 7 percent and 19 percent less time on the job.

商業領袖們似乎已經忘記了過去學到的教訓:富有人情味的時間安排對員工和雇主都有好處。中國或許有自己的“996”文化,但美國的情況也好不到哪里去。近三分之一的人每周工作45小時或更長時間,近1000萬人每周工作60小時或更長時間。歐洲人的平均工作時間要少7%到19%。

Policies like a strong overtime rule can help us return to a world where everyone does better by working less. Business leaders like Jack Ma have to get with the program, too. Glorifying those who sacrifice nearly all of their waking hours at the altar of work harms everyone, from the chief executive to the custodian.

像嚴格的加班規定這樣的政策可以幫助我們回到這樣的世界:所有人都通過減少工作來提高效率。馬云這樣的商界領袖也必須參與進來。如果贊美那些把醒著的時間都奉獻給工作祭壇的人,這樣的做法會令所有人受害,從首席執行官到看門人都不能幸免。

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