Hustle culture is poisonous: the idea we must endlessly strive for personal and professional productivity is degenerative to society. But to assume it’s entirely tied to tech-based work is missing a larger problem of the corporate workforce – the religious attachment to work, that work should give our lives meaning.
The “best” of us aren’t necessarily the hardest workers, but those who excel in our careers – lauded, appreciated, and rewarded for our work beyond money. We uproot our families to live closer to work. We fear losing our job, because then we can’t afford the house we need to live close to work, a house that costs so much because everyone around us is trying to live close to work too. We forgo time with friends and family for work happy hours, where we need to be seen to know that we’re dedicated to our work and maybe even get a better position at work. Much is sacrificed for our work, much of which is because we have to physically be there. Work becomes our personality, who we date, how we dress, how we look – so much of that is tied to having to physically be there.