My spouse had recently interviewed himself for an analyst position at a Valuations major – all was going well and then he asked about work-life balance.
The answer from the other side of the table was ” Oh, certainly, we believe in work-life balance. Normally we leave office by 9.30 PM. On weekends, you don’t have to come to office – you can work from home”That was their definition of good work-life balance, something which irked him so much that he didn’t accept their offerQuite in sync with our experiences with candidates at #cajobportal also. 6 day weeks, long hours and candidates simply say NoIn India, a survey in 2017 by Michael Page India, a global recruitment company, acquiring new skills and ensuring work-life balance now supersede the desire for higher remuneration. Amongst 650 Indians and 4,700 employees in the Asia-Pacific region, 48% seek new skills and 39% want better work-life balance, only 34% consider income to be a decisive factor.Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, with a net worth of USD 112 billion ( nearly six Flipkarts) revealed he isn’t a fan of the phrase “work-life balance” .He finds “work–life balance ” to be a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off. He says that 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. He advocates that he feels his personal and professional pursuits as a “circle” rather than a balancing act.if we move back in history, in the year 2015, Amazon had hit headlines for the New York Times investigation into the corporate culture at the company, which was described as “soulless, dystopian workplace”, including “soul crushing” instances where workers in warehouses were made to overstretch till they landed in ambulances, where interviewees stated that their manager slept in his car on Sunday’s so he could be in the office bright and early for the weekly business review with top management.To cite an HBS article, NYT portrayed the company as an organization with a “churn and burn” personnel strategy offering exciting jobs, creative freedom among talented co-workers, and the opportunity to earn high compensation--but jobs that often become too demanding for some employees, particularly those with health problems or family obligations.The impression left by the article was that because so many good people have left Amazon, it pursues either intentionally or unintentionally what can be called a low-retention strategy when it comes to people.Its often said that Amazon’s culture is not for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay. It offers remarkable service for customers and long-term profits to patient investors but disappointment for some people who have gone to work thereIs it ok to pursue a low-retention strategy, with demanding jobs, even if they lead to “burn out” among some employees?You see,the likes of McDonald’s and Sam Club’s have ensured competitive success with high employee turnover. David Glass, when he was CEO of Walmart, Sam’s Club’s parent, said “Give me fewer, better-trained, better-paid people and they’ll win every time.”)But work-life balance is quite a debatable topic. Everyone has a different view on how it impacts worker productivity, attrition, employee engagement, medical costs and employer brand perception
What would be your views on this?