Big packets bring bigger worries, finds HT survey

Executives nowadays are paying for high salaries with endless work hours and poor quality of family life, writes Namita Bhandare.

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Reduced family time, 24/7 work schedules, and concerns about health. Are cool cat MBAs ready for the rat race?

The fat salaries come at a price: frayed nerves and dissatisfaction at the workplace. An HT-C-fore survey of executives earning over Rs 10 lakh a year has revealed that there is a high level of concern about burnout and stress.

Sixty-six percent of the 400 middle-level executives interviewed in Delhi and Mumbai said they are unhappy about their work-life balance. Only 11 percent want better salaries, while 56 percent said they would prefer a job with less stress, even if it comes with a smaller paycheck.

One-fourth put in over 12 hours a day and 77 percent say they are accessible 24/7 via Blackberries and mobiles.

A whopping 93 percent said they are on call even when they are not in the office. Almost everybody interviewed (98 percent) either takes work home or goes into the office even on holidays.

Predictably, dissatisfaction with personal time is high: 65 percent said they do not get enough time for themselves, while 67 percent said they do not get enough time with their families. Health is a concern, with 61 percent convinced their work was putting their health at risk; 41 percent said they were headed for burnout.

Only 16 percent find their offices totally congenial; 60 percent are unhappy with the amenities provided by their companies. Only 32 percent said they look forward to going in to work every day. “Stress in the workplace is a given,” said Gaurav Seth, a senior executive search consultant.

In the corporate jungle, there are no free lunches.