No love life or socialization, no sleep, this is the daily life that awaits those who embark on a career linked to the development of new technologies in China.
New technology start-ups have one of the most disastrous daily lives in China. They are so involved in their professional lives that they give up their personal lives. It has consequences. Indeed, the combined lack of social and sexual life associated with lack of sleep leads to an average age of first burnout of less than thirty.
The fight against burnout is at the heart of the daily lives of young people in the technology sector, but other factors increase the pressure and therefore the risk of burnout related to their working conditions. Thus, we learn that the sexist work atmosphere and constant concern about layoffs are part of everyday life in Chinese Silicon Valley.
While employees’ free time is limited, another problem has further reduced the limited time they have had for themselves in recent years. Due to rising prices and overcrowding in Zhongguancun, more and more companies are setting up their offices in locations far from the center of Beijing. As a result, employees find themselves spending up to two and a half hours on public transit to get to work. Those who manage to find an apartment near their work in these remote areas are not necessarily better off. Rents and distractions are non-existent.
In general, Chinese technology companies expect their employees to work long hours to demonstrate their dedication, through what is known as Program 996. The day starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m., six days a week. Stressful working conditions are not improving. Some companies, such as ByteDance, which manages TikTok, now expect their employees to work every other Sunday.
Chinese companies are setting up a whole bunch of advantages on site to try to reduce the feeling of always being at work so that their employees feel at home in a leisure space. Meals, sports gyms, hair salons, and many other services are available on site, sometimes free of charge.
It does not encourage their employees to stay long. On average, it takes them less than 2.6 years to pack up, according to data from Maimai, the Chinese LinkedIn. A vital decision, in the real sense of the word. Indeed, several cases of young people struck by cardiac arrest were reported last year. All local media link with the overwork.