Telangana has emerged as the leader in weekly working hours among all South Indian states, according to data from 2019. In a comparison with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, Telangana outshone with men in the 15-59 age group working an average of 65.4 hours per week. This revelation gained attention on the Hyderabad subreddit, triggered by Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy’s controversial statement endorsing a 70-hour workweek.
The graph shared on the subreddit highlighted the significant gap between Telangana and other South Indian states, where the average weekly working hours were notably lower. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka reported 60.9 hours, Tamil Nadu stood at 59.6 hours, and Kerala recorded 58.4 hours.
The online debate sparked by Narayana Murthy’s remarks shed light on the stark reality of long working hours. Commenters on the Hyderabad subreddit expressed a mix of sarcasm and concern. Some acknowledged that the founder already mandates long hours for Infosys employees, while others urged fellow workers to push the average working hours even higher.
A Reddit user raised a pertinent question about compensation for those working over 10 hours a week, with a response revealing the dissatisfaction among individuals working extended hours. The consensus was that the pay did not match the demanding workload, leaving little time for proper meals and socialization.
Despite the apparent controversy, Telangana’s 2019 data paints a picture of a workforce putting in significantly longer hours than their counterparts in South India. The state’s men worked nearly 16 hours more than their counterparts in northeastern states like Mizoram and Tripura, which reported workweeks of 50.3 and 56.2 hours, respectively.
Narayana Murthy’s call for a 70-hour workweek stirred controversy after his appearance on a podcast, where he suggested that such intense dedication was necessary for Indian youth to compete globally. Social media responses criticized the founder, labeling his perspective as elitist and questioning the feasibility of such grueling work hours. The debate brought attention to the broader issues of work-life balance, mental health, and the overall well-being of employees in demanding work environments.