In a recent podcast interview, Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys, shared his insights on why young Indians should aim for a 70-hour work week. The comment has generated quite a buzz, sparking debates about work-life balance and the realities of the modern workplace. However, one thing is clear: Murthy was not talking about grinding away aimlessly for 70 hours but about targeted, purposeful work.
In this article, we’ll analyze these points through the lens of our experience on productivity and time management.
The context matters — Building a career, business, and nation
Murthy’s statement was not made in isolation. He emphasized that a 70-hour work week would contribute not just to individual growth, but also to the development of a business and even the advancement of an entire nation. This approach places a premium on productive work, rather than just clocking in hours.
Quality over quantity — It’s how you spend the time
While a 70-hour work week might seem daunting, it’s important to understand that Murthy’s call to action is rooted in productivity, not just raw time spent working. Time Doctor, a productivity analytics software, has always stressed the importance of quality work over merely putting in the hours. Purposeful, high-quality work is what leads to true growth and development — be it for individuals, organizations, or countries.
Realizing productivity gains
Focusing on productivity instead of just time can actually lead to better work-life balance. By being more efficient, workers can achieve the same results in less time, freeing up moments for personal growth and leisure. Moreover, for businesses, a focus on productivity over hours can lead to happier employees, less turnover, and ultimately, a more successful enterprise.
“ This is the time for us to consolidate and accelerate the progress. And for doing that, we need to work very hard. We need to be disciplined and improve our work productivity.“
Inclusion in a globalized world
The idea of a 70-hour work week might not be applicable globally due to cultural and legal differences. In some countries, such long working hours are neither sustainable nor legally permissible. However, there are principles that can be applied universally: strive for more productive work, determination, commitment, and of course, hard work rather than just increasing hours.
Narayana Murthy’s words about working 70 hours a week don’t mean you should work nonstop. Instead, he’s saying we should concentrate on doing important, meaningful work. This work can help us succeed personally and make society better. It’s not only about the hours you work, but how you use that time that truly matters.