A lot of people are preaching the value of a work-life balance, and the importance of having a life outside of the office in order to be our best at work… but not everyone agrees with the concept.
Jeff Bezos is the CEO of Amazon and the richest person alive, so how he feels about work and success is something we should listen to — and he says that “work-life balance” is actually “debilitating” in an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dopfner.
Try work-life harmony instead
So what does Bezos recommend instead? “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,” he told the site.
We can get that. So, forget balance, go for harmony. “It actually is a circle; it’s not a balance. And I think that is worth everybody paying attention to it,” Bezos told Springer.
This harmony is important for everyone in your life. “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,” he said.
This isn’t the first time we’ve gotten advice from Bezos regarding overall wellbeing, as he tries to always get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. “If you shortchange your sleep, you might get a couple of extra ‘productive’ hours, but that productivity might be an illusion,” Bezos explained to Thrive in 2016. “When you’re talking about decisions and interactions, quality is usually more important than quantity.”
So, don’t look at it as being at work or at home, or on or off, it’s all about harmony, being productive and feeling fulfilled in every area of your life, always! We can feel that.