books 996 culture one way


(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) – Chinese travel giant is leading the way in an industry under fire for its notorious culture of forcing employees too hard. From March, the online booking operator will allow staff to work out of the office two days a week, the first tech company in the country to introduce such a hybrid policy as standard.

Trip’s bold move sets him apart from 996-loving bosses — a common practice of working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. But the company’s six-month trial provided proof that productivity isn’t necessarily at risk: 93% of 1,600 participants felt more efficient. Along with saving on office rent, such a move could help firms like Meituan, Pinduoduo and Bilibili reduce the risk of drawing Beijing’s ire after the recent headline-grabbing deaths of abused employees. or overworked.

Boss James Liang also argued that more working from home could help address housing affordability and falling birth rates – two key concerns of policymakers. Having like-minded travel companions can be an advantage. (By Yawen Chen)

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(Editing by Antony Currie and Katrina Hamlin)

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