Karoshi: Death At The Desk

March 18, 2022

Working yourself to death, it’s not a turn of phrase, but a literal reality and a growing part of toxic workplace culture.

Long hours, incredible stress, financial responsibility, isolation and loneliness – we all know these play a huge toll on our mental and physical health.

But to what extent?

I know. It’s all very well and good shaking our fist at the (mostly) men at the top of the corporate pyramid – I mean, look at their salary, their pension and their company car!

Looks good right?

But we must also ask: what must be sacrificed, wagered and lost, to get them there?

Because the price of success is not paid in money; but in family life, love, friendships, holiday, after work drinks, dinner dates with friends, time with children, birthday parties, and for many - early death.

Japan has a name for the price these highly successful workaholics pay – ‘Karoshi’, loosely translating to ‘death by overwork’ and yes 72% of these deaths are men.

They are the things those apex CEOs jettison to get to the top. And that’s only if you ‘win’.

Nobody talks about the impoverished male entrepreneur who never got going, who failed to find his big break, who works two jobs and had to move back to his parent’s house.

I don’t see that pined over, or rallied against.

The reality is – not everyone wants to pay this price. To roll the dice, to *maybe* get to the top.

And why would they? The best things in life are free (like @thetinmen).

Honestly ask yourself: is the male CEO who is going back to his penthouse alone at 10pm every night, really the winner?

Or is it the dad who goes home in a car that barely runs, to a modest house and with a modest income – but to a loving family?

We have a serious problem with our relationship with work, and it makes me sad to see women chasing men down the same hole, that many of us want to climb out of.

So tell me - how many hours is too many for you?

What are you willing pay to get paid more?

What will you let go, or lose, to win it all?


Source – https://tinyurl.com/3aup2s5t

Images – djamal-akhmad, amos-bar-zeev, liam-burnett-blue, manuel-cosentino, fikri-rasyid, ryoji-iwata from Unsplash.



You may also like

The Patriarchy Problem

The Patriarchy Problem

We Are Not Violent

We Are Not Violent
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}