It really is a question of strategy, business need and maturity cycle. Companies demanding outperformance, pricing pressures or turnaround would be inclined to "sweat the assets" which is arguably linked to the idea of the 996 work culture. On the other hand, those seeking periods of organic growth, brand resonance or stabilisation may seek to embed learning and cultivate innovation cultures.
Given the macro-economic environment in China at the moment, the 996 culture may make sense for many outbound-orientated organisations. Mercer's research suggests that company management style has a significantly bigger impact on organisational culture as compared to national cultures (up to 12 times).
Tech giants in particular, have been known to achieve a more or less consistent culture globally. This reinforces what we intuitively know: Leadership and management have tremendous influence on people and workplace practices. Interestingly, Mercer's research on employee engagement placed China in fourth place with 81 per cent of employees in China reporting satisfaction with the company they work for, whereas only 70 per cent of Singaporeans reported the same, landing Singapore second from the bottom in Asia-Pacific.
"Professional passion" can be embodied in different ways: innovation, employee advocacy, low turnover, and employee ambassadors leading change.There's no one-size fits all approach. It's about thoughtful alignment of professional passion and workplace culture to the business ambitions across the medium and long-term.