Sainsbury's & James Corden's Christmas advert highlights importance of work-life balance

Sainsbury's & James Corden's Christmas advert highlights importance of work-life balance

Sainsbury’s and James Corden’s Christmas advert has hit a very apt HR note.

The advert sees a busy father clearly struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

At his workplace, a toy factory, work is flat-out, meaning he doesn’t get to spend enough time at home.

The advert is in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the supermarket chain explains why on their YouTube channel: "Over 50% of children treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital are from outside of London, so we’re raising money to fund accommodation that means patients’ families can stay close by in difficult times."  

Actor James Corden sings this over the advert while the dad returns home late from work to find his children already in bed: “I’d like to spend the time with the ones I love so dear. I’m trying to find the greatest gift I can give my family. I don’t have time, there’s only one of me. Tell me how do people do it all? I’ll never get it done. If only there was a way to be in two places at once…”

He then has a brainwave and starts making copies of himself, realising that the greatest gift he can give his family is himself.

“It would all be a breeze if there were a couple of me’s, I’d have time galore,” Corden croons.   

“Now I can meet with the boss and empty out my inbox all simultaneously, leaving me time to spend with my family friends where I want to be.”

One CEO who understands the importance of work-life balance, perhaps unlike the boss in this advert, is Mark Douglas, CEO of marketing and advertising company SteelHouse, who gives each employee $2,000 (£1,500) every year to spend on their annual leave.

He explains why in an interview with Business Insider: “If you have a caged lion that was born in captivity, and then you open the cage, they back up more into the cage. They don't start running free.

“When we first started telling people they had unlimited vacation, they didn't even know how to interpret that. Our culture is simple. It's based on trust and ambition.

“It's one thing to say 'You have three weeks’ vacation’, like most companies do.

“It's another thing to say 'You have cash, and if you don't go on vacation and spend this money, the money literally goes to waste’. It's another level of saying this is real.”

The advert also highlights conduct at the office Christmas party, with the dad’s boss twerking at one point.

Speaking to us last year, Kate Cooper, Head of Research and Policy at the Institute of Leadership & Management, says that it is important for senior managers to lead by example and be “on their best behaviour.” She advises employers to brief the senior staff on the importance of not letting the junior staff see them behave in a way that would put them on Santa’s naughty list.

However, the advert, accompanied with the hashtag '#ChristmasIsForSharing', has been called hypocritical on Twitter, with users saying the message doesn’t align with the fact that members of staff will be working on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. 

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below...

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