The variety of working lifestyles displayed in Silicon Valley ranges from those who manage to employ the perfect work-life balance to those that don’t appear to have any work-life balance at all.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, earnestly believes that employees shouldn’t have to choose between work and their families – she extended sick leave, care leave and paid leave earlier this year - while other “post-human” tech tycoons, such as Elon Musk and Tim Cook, respectively, work 80- to 100-hour weeks and wake up at 3.45am as work and life merge as one.
It appears that the CEO of Yamaha Motors, Hiroshi Saijou, fits into the Cook-Musk school of thinking, claiming that he “doesn’t like the term work-life balance”.
Yet, with increasing reports and literature on the importance of balancing professional commitments with personal recuperation: why would Saijou say such a thing?
Saijou claims it is because he “want[s] to enjoy my life, that’s why I’m here” adding that “work is part of my life”.
He also claims that the key to having a successful career is not to think of work as “tough” or “painful”.
Saijou wants to enjoy work so surrounds himself with great people who help him “feel motivated and ready for a new journey”.
However, Saijou admits that he needs to have more discipline over his life, adding: “My time is my own, as long as I have control to switch on or off.”
Often, it’s incumbent on HR to try and instil a healthy work-life balance. This can include introducing initiatives such as remote working, flexi-time and wellness programmes.
However, according to research by Thomson Online Benefits, currently only four per cent of employers currently offer initiatives geared at supporting employee wellbeing.