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Money Why Jeff Bezos doesn't like the idea of work-life balance

04:56  10 august  2018
04:56  10 august  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

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It seems everyone is seeking work - life balance these days, and many leaders have preached its importance. But not Jeff Bezos . The Amazon CEO and the world's richest person lives by a different concept.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently shared why he doesn ’ t like the term " work - life balance ," why companies should strive for consumers' trust and his career transition from investment banking to entrepreneurship, among other topics, during an interview in Berlin.

It seems everyone is seeking work-life balance these days, and many leaders have preached its importance.

But not Jeff Bezos. The Amazon CEO and the world's richest person lives by a different concept. In fact, he called the term "work-life balance" "debilitating" in an April interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dopfner.

So what's Bezos' take?

"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 in 2016.

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His brother Mark noted that Jeff is “rarely distracted by his phone,” according to TechCrunch. “When I have dinner with friends or family, I like to be doing whatever I’m doing, I don’ t like to multitask,” Bezos said. Another thing Bezos doesn ’ t like : the idea of work - life balance .

When asked about Amazon’s “ work / life balance ” Jeff Bezos remarked that he ascribed to the phrase “ work / life harmony” instead. The idea of work / life balance suggests that there should be an even split between working and non-working hours.

Bezos isn't alone in eschewing the phrase.

Related video: Stop complaining about work-life balance

"I think the way work-life balance gets talked about is frequently inaccurate," David Ballard, director of the American Psychological Association's Center for Organizational Excellence told CNN Money. "The 'balance' part of it is implying you're equally dividing time and energy, which isn't necessarily the case."

So work-life "harmony" is a concept Bezos tries to teach his young employees as well as senior executives at Amazon. "It actually is a circle; it's not a balance. And I think that is worth everybody paying attention to it," Bezos told Springer.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he believes the term " work - life balance " is a "debilitating phrase." Bezos revealed that one of the top pieces of advice he offers new Amazon employees is that they shouldn' t view the two as a strict trade-off.

When asked about Amazon’s work - life balance , Jeff Bezos remarked that he ascribed to the phrase “ work - life harmony” instead. It happens on vacation, and during graduations. The idea of work - life balance suggests that there should be an even split between working and non-working hours.

If not, it can affect everyone around you. "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.

Despite all the work that comes along with running his e-commerce behemoth, Bezos also prioritizes his well-being. For example, he tries hard to squeeze in the recommended eight hours of sleep each night, telling Thrive Global that it's the amount he needs to feel energized and excited.

"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."

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