Whatever your thoughts about Amazon, it’s hard to disagree that they’ve changed the world. Their CEO, Jeff Bezos, has some thoughts about what’s usually termed ‘work-life balance’:
This work-life harmony thing is what I try to teach young employees and actually senior executives at Amazon too. But especially the people coming in. I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off. And the reality is, if I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy. And if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy.
Of course, if you work from home (as I do) being happy at home is crucial to being happy at work.
I like his metaphor of a circle, about it not being a trade-off or ‘balance’:
It actually is a circle; it’s not a balance. And I think that is worth everybody paying attention to it. You never want to be that guy — and we all have a coworker who’s that person — who as soon as they come into a meeting they drain all the energy out of the room. You can just feel the energy go whoosh! You don’t want to be that guy. You want to come into the office and give everyone a kick in their step.
All of the most awesome people I know have nothing like a work-life ‘balance’. Instead, they work hard, play hard, and tie that to a mission bigger than themselves.
Whether that’s true for the staff on targets in Amazon warehouses is a different matter, of course. But for knowledge workers, I think it’s spot-on.
Source: Chicago Tribune