By Elton Gomes
For some employees, a work-life balance generally means a five-day work week, with fixed working hours, and a salary that lets them splurge once in a while. For Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, the work-life balance is simply a “debilitating phrase.” The world’s richest man instead, focuses on work-life harmony.
“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,” Jeff Bezos said, the Financial Times reported. Instead of work-life balance, Bezos urges employees to try “work-life harmony,” adding that he has been teaching this to “young employees and actually senior executives at Amazon too. But especially the people coming in.”
Bezos’s formula is a symbiotic relationship between being happy and entering the workplace. “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,” Bezos said, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“You never want to be that guy — and we all have a co-worker who’s that person — who, as soon as they come into a meeting, they drain all the energy out of the room … You want to come into the office and give everyone a kick in their step,” Bezos was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Here’s what happened
When considering south Mumbai offices, the concept of work-life balance might be a figment of imagination. It takes some employees up to two hours to reach the office, and while others spend at least an hour travelling in the perpetually crowded trains. What is more, when it comes to the retail sector in Mumbai, the concept of work-life balance is more like a “joke” to some.
“I would say it is very difficult to have work-life balance working in retail… there’s probably no work-life balance at all,” a retail employee told Quartz. Why is it so difficult to have work-life balance in Mumbai? According to the Quartz report, employees often find themselves working over and above the stipulated hours, to accommodate customers hoping to purchase luxury goods or home decor.
Taking an off day becomes a struggle, as some employees are forced to work on even on their off days, with little to no notice. In terms of work-life balance, as per a study cited in the Quartz report, Chennai and Kolkata ranked in among the 70s, while Mumbai ranked 86, and New Delhi came in at 87.
In this day and age, employees enjoy a lot more autonomy than they did in the past. Digital positions ensure that work can be done from any place, given the existence of internet connectivity. However, for some employees, work-life balance still seems to be an elusive concept.
Why is this important?
With the advent of newer technology, newer jobs will automatically be created. For these new jobs, experts claim that individual skill sets will also have to be transformed. As these new jobs might possibly shift from more mundane, routine-based ones, to more creative ones, employees will likely have the ability to learn on the job. As employees partner with technology to work smarter, the concept of work-life balance might become a reality.
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