The week of 13th to 17th May is ‘Mental Awareness Week’, and it’s been interesting and fascinating to watch and listen on TV, radio and online to so many stories and ways in which each one of us can help friends, families and colleagues.
I’ve also been reading about the routines of some business leaders, who seem to suggest that the path to success is just to work hard, or make significant sacrifices:
Jack Ma, the co-founder of the online shopping website Alibaba 'campaigning for '996' (i.e. working from 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week)
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO who has claimed that you need to work at least 80 hours a week in order to “change the world”
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO who undertook all-nighters and also worked from her hospital bed after having twins, and believes she’s able to determine how successful a start-up will be by the number of hours worked at the beginning
Jack Dorsey who is Twitter’s CEO, and his 11 ‘wellness’ habits (including eating just one meal a day, and taking ice baths)
In previous blogs, I’ve spoken about the pressures placed on us by the speed at which we have to consume information, as well as the initiatives certain companies have taken to allow a more flexible working pattern for those that require it.
Having not worked for any of these above-named organisations, nor spoken personally to anyone that has, I can only imagine the pressure that those working for these organisations feel, when these founders / CEOs make their announcements from the top. Perhaps some like and even perhaps follow these to some degree, spurred on by the success that these people have achieved?
But is it really possible for someone on a fraction of the wage that some of these CEOs are on, to be following the same path as them?
The findings we often see from the employee studies we carry out very much challenge the general perceptions of what makes a person happier at a particular workplace – it’s not always higher salaries, better or increased perks and rewards, or even the facilities, but it can be an appreciation and acknowledgement of the work that is being undertaken, and an allowance for a good work / life balance to exist.
And outside of this? A cursory look at a number of websites informs us to get enough sleep, spend time with friends and family, binge-watch any number of Netflix boxsets, have a lie-in until silly o’clock at the weekend…OK, some of these may not be listed on these websites, but you get the picture!