Elon Musk recommends an 80-hour work week. Are Indian entrepreneurs working just as much?


Tesla CEO Elon Musk's Twitter exchange on his comments about an 80-hour work week has fuelled yet another a debate on the ideal number of hours you should be working per week.

Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk. (Image: Flickr)

France may have brought the 35-hour workweek into the spotlight, but not every CEO is game for fewer work hours. Definitely not Elon Musk.

“There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week,” the Tesla CEO tweeted in response to a cheeky Wall Street Journal post that said, “Tesla is one of Silicon Valley’s most in-demand employers, despite—or because of—Elon Musk.”

He added that SpaceX, Tesla, Boring Company and Neuralink were the places to be if “getting things done matters to you” before making the remark that stirred up a storm on social media. Naturally, Twitterati wanted to know what, according to Elon, were the ideal number of working hours per week. “Varies per person, but about 80 sustained, peaking above 100 at times. Pain level increases exponentially above 80,” the tech maven responded.

Soon enough, the debate spilled out of social media and into dinner conversations. So we decided to ask a few Indian entrepreneurs how many hours a week they worked. After all, India was recently declared the most vacation-deprived country in the world based on the findings of a survey by Expedia.

The YourStory poll on Twitter asking people how many hours a week they worked showed that 59 percent worked 40-60 hours a week. A significant chunk of respondents (23 percent) work 60-80 hours and as many as 18 percent worked 80+ hours a week. 

Next, we spoke to a few entrepreneurs and business leaders to learn what they think about the ideal work week. And guess what? Most of them were in agreement with Elon Musk’s thought process.

(From top left) Amod Malviya of Udaan.com, Naiyaa Saggi of Babychakra, Rishabh Kaul of belong.co, and Farid Ahsan, Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Singh of ShareChat

For Naiyya Saggi, of BabyChakra, the ideal working hours range around the 80-hour mark. Although, she admitted that she was “trying to get more efficient”.

Belong.co Co-founder Rishabh Kaul works 100+ hours a week while ShareChat Founders Farid Ahsan, Ankush Sachdeva, and Bhanu Singh work for roughly 75-80 odd hours every week.

The work week of Amod Malviya, Co-founder of Udaan.com, varies between 40 and 80 hours a week. He said, “It's very contextual and depends on the situation (and requirements). Plenty of times I've been more productive while working for 40 hours a week as compared to working for more hours the other times. I don't like to fix it to a specific number.”

Finding a middle ground is Sampad Swain, Co-founder and CEO at Instamojo, who said his weekly schedule includes 60 hours of work.

How many hours do you put in every week? And are they enough to “get things done”?

[Also read: Elon Musk unveils Tesla’s plans for India in yet another tweet]