Analysis: Why Striving for a Work-Life Balance is Shortsighted

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Aug. 16, 2018—One of the most powerful business people in the world, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, said recently that’s he’s not a complete believer in striving for a work-life balance. Bezos, believed to currently be the world’s richest person, instead lives by the following concept:

“I think work-life harmony is a good framework,” Bezos told Thrive Global. “I prefer the word ‘harmony’ to the word ‘balance’ because balance tends to imply a strict tradeoff.

“In fact, if I’m happy at work, I’m better at home―a better husband and better father. And, if I’m happy at home, I come into work more energized―a better employee and a better colleague.”

Bezos isn’t alone in this belief, either, noted CNBC. Some accomplished psychologists believe the term work-life balance is often talked about inaccurately, considering the word “balance” suggests that time needs to be divided equally between home and work. To hear Bezos tell it, the most important thing is making sure you have an appropriate amount of energy to devote to both your personal and professional pursuits.

“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,” Bezos said. “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.”

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