A note on Work-life balance

Some people take work too seriously. I regularly see people (especially in South East Asia) living, breathing, eating and sleeping work. It’s so bad that there’s no semblance of work-life balance at all.

Here’s a typical day for some of these people:

  • Check work email and teams (Online 24×7) messages when you wake up for a few minutes in the middle of sleep during the night.
  • Wake up in the morning, check teams messages first thing, reply to emails
  • Get ready and go to work, glue yourself to the computer
  • Go out for lunch. Check teams messages and emails all the time, discuss work related things with colleagues
  • Go back to work, glue yourself to the computer
  • Go out for dinner. Check teams messages and emails all the time, discuss work related things with colleagues
  • Leave work at 8, check teams chats and emails during the commute home
  • Take calls from home till 11
  • Go to bed, check teams chats and emails on the phone when in bed
  • Work from home on the weekends
  • Miss your colleagues during holidays, so come to office any way on your holidays
  • Wash, rinse and repeat

I fail to understand how (or why) some people give their entire life to work with no regards to their health, personal/family time or hobbies. I have been through such (short) phases a few times in my life, too and have come out suffering mentally every time. This makes me wonder even more how some people do this day after day, year after year.

Now, I don’t care too much if such people don’t have care for work-life balance, don’t have hobbies or don’t have friends outside work. I don’t care that for them their entire life revolves around work. But I do start caring when this behaviour becomes the norm at an organization and people expect the same from you.

For me, I am paid a salary and in return, I work. It doesn’t mean that I am not motivated at all, I always try to give the best I can, but I prefer to draw clear boundaries between work and leisure.

I don’t have Teams or work Email configured on my personal phone. If there’s something urgent, they will call me. Unlike the above people, I also do my best to give 100% during the 8 hours I am actually working, I don’t stand around with my colleagues and gossip. Also, I don’t want to see work colleagues at all outside work hours or on weekends. I have a separate social circle for those times.

I am acutely aware that my way of working is not the norm anymore; thankfully I am in a position where I can get away with it.

As a great man said once “Work is work, life is life”. Ironically, he was a workaholic, himself, who later burnt out.

2 thoughts on “A note on Work-life balance”

  1. Completely agree. Work life balance and wellbeing is really important. Don’t know why people dont understand.

    1. Because these people don’t have a life outside work, no hobbies etc. When they are getting bored and have nothing else to do, they default to work.

      Other option is, they actually love their company.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.