If you happen to own any type of device connecting you to the internet, you probably heard of the phrase “rise and grind.” “Hustle culture,” like workaholism, focuses on a work environment that’s constantly moving and employees sacrificing themselves to long work hours. Yikes. Social media acts as one of the biggest proponents to the idea of hustle culture due to its inherent connection with big businesses. However, maybe hustling and grinding shouldn’t be promoted as healthy living.
Here’s the top 10 reasons why hustle culture acts more as an enemy than a friend.
1. It Affects the Way We Empathize with Others
The problem with hustle culture comes from the fact that it leads with a tough and stone-cold mindset towards employees to get work done. An environment centered around positivity rather than disdain can significantly increase how much work will get done. Who wants to be down in the dumps at work all the time? Feedback should also exist in the workplace, but we all benefit when we find a way to do it with respect and care for one another to grow creatively.
2. It Disproportionately Affects Different Social Classes
There’s no doubt to who benefits more from a productivity incline: the wealthy. Though the economy sees tremendous amounts of success in our lifetimes, the minimum wage raise still doesn’t reflect standard living prices. We all know this problem exists. As business and the elites grow stronger and prices go up, the working class gets left to fend for themselves. That’s why this needs to change.
3. It Disregards Mental Health
Sometimes our mental health doesn’t always leave us in the most productive state of mind. That’s okay! However, hustle culture treats mental health as an “excuse” to not get work done. Instead of being sympathetic to people’s everyday personal obstacles, hustle culture berates those struggling in their lives. Not cool. While focusing our activism on mental health, emphasis on how working nonstop disregards a common issue facing our workforce today is needed now more than ever.
4. Stress Harms the Mind and Body
There’s a large demand in how much work gets done while expecting to “hustle.” This isn’t a healthy lifestyle whatsoever. It causes insane amounts of stress upon us to constantly funnel out new creations and ideas. Who needs even more stress, especially these days?
“Hustle culture leads to depressive episodes and in extreme cases, suicidal ideation,” College of the Desert sophomore Izaliah Aguilar said. “This proves how much it’s harming us physically and mentally. Being wrapped in the idea of having insane amounts of success makes you forget how to live and eventually your body will shut down.”
That stress only does harm to our bodies and manifests into what we call burnout: an inability to work due to being emotionally and physically drained. While this may not seem like a big deal to those at the top of the food chain, burnout can lead to anxiety disorders and shortened life spans. That’s why it’s so important to hone in those self-care practices!
5. It Leads to Declines in Productivity
Since burnout commonly arises due to work related stress, it’s safe to assume that this also equals a decline in productivity. The constant pressure of hustling isn’t just degrading, but it also turns out quite useless in the end. We begin to see workers unable to proceed in their personal lives caused by the strain in their work lives. Proper breaks and time to decompress produce our best work, not being rushed. Maybe Rihanna’s song got it wrong after all.
6. It’s Rooted in Prejudice and Hate
People of color often get horridly associated with the concept of laziness. There’s an awful perception that lies in the shadows that people of color make less finances because of a “lack of hustle.” Crazy, right?
“Hustle culture is basically the idea of the American dream. It completely sweeps systemic racism under the rug for its own gain,” UCSB sophomore Andrea Paz said. “Yes, hard work gets you places, but it doesn’t change the fact that racial and ethnic minorities have it harder and are forced to work harder to end up in the same place they were before.”
This dilemma shows itself through the pay gaps we see between different race and ethnic groups in the workplace. The foundations of capitalism itself were built on top of the backs of many minorities. It’s time to dismantle it and ethically rebuild from the ground up!
7. It Prioritizes Quantity Over Quality
One of the biggest problems we see arise in businesses comes from items being mass produced and oftentimes copied from other creators. All of those syllabus plagiarism warnings come rushing back, right? When there’s a constant insistence to put out a mass number of products for consumers, we lose the creativity of our work. To see true talent and watch the next generation of artists rise up, the pressure to put out new items must dramatically decreased. Long live art!
8. It Brings on Unnecessary Amounts of Competition Amongst Employees
Work becomes much harder when there’s tension between co-workers. Hustle culture creates an unhappy environment and causes co-workers to work against each other to climb the ranks. If your employment experiences plagues of tensity and stress, there’s an issue that absolutely needs addressing. After all, we don’t want to be battling Karen down the hall. Yikes.
9. It Does Not Acknowledge Unfair Advantages in the Workplace
As the character Genya Safin once said, “Just…be careful…. Of powerful men.” Gender inequality amongst employees continues to rage despite the push to make a change. There’s a common argument that arises where, often than not, men will bring up a point that women should just simply “work harder.” Men still dominate the workforce and this often puts women at a disadvantage. Hustle culture sees this as just a problem of work ethic amongst women.
10. It Puts Value in Your Work Rather than You as a Person
Unfortunately, our empathy towards every individual slowly fades out when we allow hustle culture to dominate our lives. The person inside no longer matters to these employers and co-workers. You become just a serial number doing a job. Who wants to live like that?
“I mean, hustle culture in general just tricks you into being a mindless working machine,” College of the Desert sophomore Matthew Salazar said. “After a while, you get so worked up ‘How can I make more money?’ You don’t even get to enjoy what you have, and you don’t live in the moment, ever.”
What makes the human condition so incredible comes from our ability to love and care for each other. When we’re replaced by numbers with no meaning, we begin to lose our ability to care and find the smalls joy embedded in life.