We all struggle with the work-life balance, trying to figure out how we can have a fulfilling personal and social life while striving for a successful career.
A single dad of two kids named Ian Sohn wrote a post on LinkedIn recently about how his employees need to stop apologizing for “having lives.”
Sohn’s essay reads:
“I never need to know you’ll be back online after dinner.
I never need to know why you chose to watch season 1 of “Arrested Development” (for the 4th time) on your flight to LA instead of answering emails.
I never need to know you’ll be in late because of a dentist appointment. Or that you’re leaving early for your kid’s soccer game.
I never need to know why you can’t travel on a Sunday.
I never need to know why you don’t want to have dinner with me when I’m in your town on a Tuesday night.
I never need to know that you’re working from home today because you simply need the silence.
I deeply resent how we’ve infantilized the workplace. How we feel we have to apologize for having lives. That we don’t trust adults to make the right decisions. How constant connectivity/availability (or even the perception of it) has become a valued skill.
I’m equally grateful for the trust/respect my peers, bosses and teams show me every day.
Years ago a very senior colleague reacted with incredulity that I couldn’t fly on 12 hours notice because I had my kids that night (and I’m a single dad. edit: divorced). I didn’t feel the least bit guilty, which I could tell really bothered said colleague. But it still felt horrible.
I never want you to feel horrible for being a human being.”
Isn’t that refreshing?
Bosses, take notice of Sohn’s words and think about the work-life balance of your employees. This will hopefully open some peoples’ eyes.