New Delhi: Sure, the stock market’s crashing and inflation’s rising. But the boss needed that report handed in yesterday, and the children still need help with homework.
Indians’ concerns over balancing work and life have surpassed worries about a slowing economy, according to the bi-annual global consumer opinion survey by market research company The Nielsen Co.
About 20% of Indians cite achieving this balance as their main worry; 13% cite the economy as the second biggest. Globally, the state of the economy is the biggest concern, with 20% of the respondents citing it.
The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, conducted by Nielsen Customized Research, was conducted in April 2008 among 28,253 Internet users in 511 countries from Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and West Asia.
“A booming economy has resulted in better jobs and salaries. However, this has brought in long work schedules, leaving individuals with very little time to balance their work and life,” says Sarang Panchal, Nielsen’s managing director, customized research, Asia-Pacific, India, China and Greater China. “It is not surprising that most Indians consider work-life balance as their biggest concern since demanding careers are taking a toll on their family lives.”
Interestingly, booming emerging markets across Eastern Europe, West Asia and Asia seem to feel the same. Globally, respondents rated job security (10%) as their third biggest concern, followed by health (9%), children’s education/welfare (9%) and debt (8%). But concerns differ across regions. While Americans are more worried about finance, respondents from the Asia-Pacific region are more bothered about emotional and physical well-being. Europe is anxious about the environment and for people in West Asia/Africa, it is politics and terrorism.
Explaining the reason behind differing concerns, Janet Gasper Chowdhury, managing consultant, people and change practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, says, “With recession setting in the US and job cuts across companies, Americans’ obvious concerns are finance and debt, while people in a mature economy are concerned about environmental issues.”
She adds that a rising rupee and a slowing US economy has forced a number of companies, especially in the information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services sectors, to optimize existing capacities and increase efficiency. “All this has meant that employees are working harder at the expense of their personal lives to meet targets,” she says.
The third biggest concern for Indians (12%) is parent’s welfare and happiness, the highest for any Asian country.