Laziness is one of the most intriguing aspect of the human personality. Nobody knows he is lazy until he is told. Even looking at other hardworking people doesn't cause him to become aware of it. At the deeper level, even the hard working guy could very well be lazy. Henry Ford understood this well. That hard worker applied himself with much effort and discipline to his work but he doesn't use his brains. Thinking is even harder than brawn work. That hard working fellow didn't know he has been lazy, again it is because nobody explains to him that he really is. Singapore and Japan are full of such hard workers. It is a waste of time.
Who understands that the open book exam can be much harder the closed one? Similarly if calculators are permitted, the math paper is going to be harder? Try it. You will discover that it is due to one simple reason: You have to think more in an open book exams. Maths problems are more knotty when calculators can be used.
Nobody dies from working too hard. The Japanese who died from hard work weren't working hard. He only appeared to be. The reason was stress, the ultimate rebellion to work, which is death. He was forced to go further than he was willing, to the point of losing his purpose for existence. Therefore it is impossible to work hard unless you also love what you do.
If you only love the work you are doing because it brings you pleasure, that is one of the dumbest reason for working hard. The pleasure diminishes because we are so good at getting used to things. Such a person is immature. We work because it is meaningful. Smart employers who create meaningful work find that they do need to pay the highest wages. However they can pay very good and well above average wages because their staff enjoy doing meaningful work and will do well. They also know how to do their jobs better. After all, they know the meaning of their work right?
There is another group of workers who work very hard, may be harder than almost everyone. The guys and girls on Wall Street; and the best renumerated are those from Goldman Sachs (there are smaller firms e.g,, hedge funds that pay better...) They work the hardest. Unfortunately, the meaning of their work isn't a social or economic purpose, it is mostly Greed and Ego. These are the folks who had been seduced into the business before they had found a meaning to their lives that is greater than themselves.