Thursday, September 28, 2023

Work is part of Life? I don't think so...

Some time back, I saw an article about work-life balance.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta thinks work-life balance is 'baloney' & that work is part of life

I quote from the article:

Gupta agreed, replying that with the amount of time one spends working, "your friends are there, your colleagues are there, your impact is there, your growth is there, your income is there".

This ties in with Gupta's belief that there is no such thing as work-life balance.

He described it as "all baloney", but went on to explain that "it's not because [he] want[s] people to work all the time".

"It's just that I believe that work is a part of life," he concluded.
I also saw on LinkedIn a few people resonated with his thoughts. Interestingly, these people are entrepreneurs/business owners. 

I don't quite agree with these statements. 

Firstly, it is easy for CEOs/business owners to say the above, because it is easier for them to manage their time. 

For example, the NUS President is able to have morning walks and talk to his staff at the same time - killing 2 birds with one stone. If you are an employee expected to toil in front of the computer the whole day, if you tell your boss you are going out for a morning walk, he will not take it nicely, right?

For employees, they just do not have enough freedom to manage their time during work hours. As such, work is work. After work, they need to take care of themself/family. So for employees, it is best to keep work and life separate. 

Also, employees just don't have enough 'skin in the game' to merge work with life. If they do office work outside office hours, what do they get? Maybe a bigger bonus when it comes to the next round of performance review. For business owners it is different. If their business takes off, the rewards are much more. 

Lastly, I don't think merging work with life is much of a choice for business owners. They have no choice at all - they have to merge the two together. If the business owner does not reply to his client during the weekend, he may lose the business. If an employee does not reply to his boss during the weekend, at most he gets a scolding and his bonus is cut. Clearly, the business owner has much more to lose by not merging work with life. 

So at the end of the day, it is simply the reward/risk ratio that determines whether to merge work with life or not. 

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