Hustle Culture and Mental Health: Finding the Balance

The Finery Report survey claims that 83.8% of employees believe that overtime is completely normal, 69.6% admit to working on weekends, and 60.8% feel guilty when they’re not working after hours. 

Inspired by religious beliefs, Sunday was generally observed as day of worship and rest - a day when God also rests. In the modern world, the foundations of success, health and happiness are a little different. What used to be a rest day is now used for working overtime at home or in the office, and the pursuit for productivity replaced the need to relax. After work, there are other daily errands waiting at home, and if you work out and have a social life, that leaves you with very little or no time for rest.

Today, people work hard because they believe it will make them successful. Hustle culture makes it easy to forget the importance of rest, and the stress we go through on a daily basis in order to stay productive is greater than ever in history. However, overtime, pressure at work and high expectations often lead to burnout and fatigue instead of success and promotions. 

In the last few years, we have been hearing more and more about burnout syndrome in the media. A burnout is a state of emotional and mental exhaustion caused by chronic stress in the workplace and insufficient rest, now categorized as a syndrome and recognized by the WHO. Stress and tension cause cortisol secretion, leading to anxiety disorders, depression and heart disease. Although it is cool to work multiple jobs with no days off, the quality of work should not be measured by the number of hours you put into it. No matter how popular the “go hard or go home” mentality gets, we all need time to relax and unwind in order to keep healthy.


Managing stress and setting boundaries

Hustle culture teaches us that working 24/7 leads to the best results, but the reality is completely different. All research shows that increased amounts of stress negatively affect productivity. In order to successfully and efficiently perform their jobs, employees need to feel good and be content. The data also tell us that there is a direct link between mental and physical health and efficiency. Although it sounds like a paradox, hustle culture actually reduces professional productivity.

Although data shows us that working overtime negatively affects creativity and productivity, hustle culture was born for a reason - to justify hard work. However, if it leads to a stressful environment, glorifies working overtime and nurtures rivalry among employees, we couldn’t help but wonder - is it possible to feel successful in a toxic culture?

For us at TerraCore Technologies, the answer is no! We are aware of the importance of mental health and strive to maintain a healthy and positive atmosphere in the company. At feedback meetings, our team members often point out that flexibility, work without pressure and within working hours are some of the most notable advantages of working in our company. We don’t believe that overtime leads to better or more efficient solutions and we know how pressure and tight deadlines affect both mental and physical health. 

The global pandemic of COVID-19 additionally helped raise awareness about the importance of rest and mental health, forcing us to slow down and encouraging us to re-establish clear boundaries between work and private life. Today, employees around the world single out mental health as the most important factor of their overall job satisfaction, and more and more managers and leaders recognize its importance, too. 

Just as stretching your body and having rest days from working out are necessary for muscle growth, regular rest is necessary for high-quality mental activity. Instead of allowing ourselves to rest only during holidays or vacations, it is important to set aside time for rest on a daily basis and to make sure we get enough sleep and downtime so that our mind rests, too.

Happy employees are more productive

The secrets of increased productivity are shorter working hours, a fulfilled life outside of work and enough rest. We live in a digital world and receive an incredible amount of information on a daily basis. As our attention wanders and our concentration weakens, breaks from technology and disconnecting from the Internet are essential for maintaining long-term health.. 

Having enough rest is a prerequisite for success, health and happiness. Although the benefits are the same for everyone, rest is hard to define because it is something different for everyone. It can be active, such as going for a walk, or passive, such as an afternoon nap. No matter how you spend your free time, it will help you recover and recharge your batteries. When rest becomes a habit, it improves physical and mental health, strengthens concentration and memory, supports creativity and productivity, and facilitates the decision-making process. Also, rest has a positive effect on the health of the immune system, mood and metabolism. 

In addition to regular downtime, finding a hobby can help you live a more fulfilling life outside of work. Hobbies are a great way to relax after a long day at work or on the weekends. Many entrepreneurs point out that hobbies help them cope with everyday stress and inspire them to be creative. It’s important to find a hobby that you can enjoy without any pressure from the outside world, and it will help you relax, eliminate anxiety and cope with all the challenges of fast-paced modern life. A hobby could be cooking, hiking, reading, photography, running or workout. If you don’t enjoy any of those, there are so many other activities you could try. 

In addition to helping us relax, hobbies have a great impact on our social life because they give you the opportunity to connect with people with whom you share the same passions and interests. Also, a hobby can be a great way to learn a new skill, test your courage and encourage your creativity, and sometimes even to get to know yourself better. 

Exploring what you love at TerraCore Technologies

At TerraCore, we respect the individuality of each team member, but at the same time we nurture teamwork. We strive to encourage team members to be who they are and to work on their dreams and passions. We believe that people give their best when they feel they can be who they are and that our differences bring us closer together. We would also like to share with all candidates and future colleagues that at TerraCore, everyone is so much more than the job they do, whether they are an experienced developer, a chef who is learning to code or a copywriter who loves to knit. 

Inspired by the hobbies of our team members, we decided to draw attention to the importance of rest and free time, especially at a time when our mental health is constantly under siege. As part of the TerraCrew Beyond Work campaign, colleagues Sasa, Ivan, Milos, Ana, Bane and Steva shared what they enjoy doing in their free time. 

At TerraCore, we do not ask anyone to work 24/7 and give 110% of themselves every day, but rather to give their maximum within working hours according to their abilities that particular day. We try to be there for each other regardless of challenges or difficulties that may arise. The results may or may not fluctuate, but support should not be lacking when needed. 

We know how important hobbies are and we value free time, so we never work overtime or on short deadlines. Our employees don’t stay late at the office and we try to disconnect on the weekends. We are always flexible when planning vacations and we try to meet everyone’s requests.

We are always there for the members of our team. If you want to become one of us, have a look at the open positions on our website. If your preferred position is not open, send us your CV and portfolio because we are always looking for talented people. Even if your position does not currently exist in our company, send us your CV, briefly introduce yourself and tell us what you would like to do in the contact form, and we might create a position just for you. 

No matter what you do or where you currently work, take some time for yourself. Take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Work on yourself not because it's expected of you, but because you enjoy it. Let go of all the expectations that come your way. Cook, dance, dive, walk, breathe and live your best life both inside and outside of work.