Does Jeff Bezos' advise on work-life balance help or hurt?
In a recent interview with the owner and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, he articulated that his advice to interns and execs is to stop aiming for work-life balance, because to him, it is a circle and not a trade-off. Instead of viewing work and life as a balancing act, Bezos said that it's more productive to view them as two integrated parts.
In as much as Jeff Bezos’ advice was clearly something that has worked for him, there is a danger of oversimplifying.
The one solution fits all model does not work for everyone, especially when dealing with perspectives on our approach to work. Some people see work as an extension of their life with seamless overlapping, while others see it as a separate entity that needs to be shut down and turned back on. In both extremes, the person can be very passionate about work, but the approaches are different.
These differences in approach can emanate from our cultural background, values, ways to manage stress or other coping mechanisms. The personal differences could be damaging to a company, if not taken into consideration. Just because you see work and life outside the workplace as a balanceable act, does not mean you are not as engaged or productive as the one who doesn’t see a line between the two.
You want to create a culture that looks at the employee from a holistic perspective. Not only focusing on their professional engagement, but taking into account their physical and psychological strengths, personal relationships and hobbies, and their feeling of purpose. This type of culture values the individual employee and provides tools to succeed both at work and in personal life. A culture that helps people come to work happier every day.
If this sounds complicated, impossible or too hard to do, send us a message at WeBridge, and we will help you lay a unique foundation for your employees’ success both at work and in their personal lives.