“Parents block off in their calendar that they’re dropping their kids off at school or they’re having ‘toddler time’ or they’re facilitating Zoom school — especially women,” she said.
In March, Ms. Gendron went to get a bridesmaid dress altered during the workday. “I put it on my calendar and put my status on my Slack with a little dress emoji with ‘will be back in 30 minutes,’” she said. “No one said anything about it or was like, ‘Well, you should have done it on a Saturday.’”
Against Hustle Culture
Of course, stepping away from work can be easier said than done.
“We live in a culture that wants us to push, push, push all of the time,” said Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale and a host of the “Happiness Lab” podcast. “The body really wasn’t meant to do that. We need sleep, we need rest, we need time off.”
“It makes sense that people want to take chunks of free time in secret,” she continued. “We have a culture that acts like something is wrong with that — that you must not be a good worker if you want to take a half an hour break or a quick nap during the day.”
Despite employees in all sorts of industries citing burnout, hustle culture continues to be glorified. But Ashley Whillans, a Harvard Business School professor and the author of “Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life,” thinks we could be at a turning point.
“Now is the perfect time to set new rules, new routines, and new ways of working because we’re in this phase of habit disruption,” Dr. Whillans said. “We completely changed our working model for the last year, and we would be doing a disservice to ourselves if we just immediately went back to the way things were before.”