Perpetual connectivity has brought amazing benefits to our lives; we can catch up with friends and family anywhere in the world at the push of a button, access the entire sum of human knowledge at our fingertips or have a 3-course meal delivered directly to our doors if we so choose.
But there are downsides too. The fact that we can find and reconnect with our first crush at high school means that your boss can certainly find you too, and escaping from the daily responsibilities of work is getting harder and harder. More of us are foregoing a healthy work/life balance as that small favor you once did has quickly become a general expectation, and our physical and mental health is suffering for it. But what can be done?
Enter Ian Sohn, president of creative tech agency Wunderman Chicago. Ian believes in trust and respect for the space of his employees, emphasizing that they should never need to “apologize for having lives.” He wrote an emotive open letter on Linkedin recently which has since gone viral for its honest and supportive tone, eschewing the increasingly common culture of micromanaging in the workplace.
Ian often addresses his thoughts and professional concerns in words, and this particular issue has been on his mind for some time. “At any given time I’ve got a bunch of topics rattling around in my head. Some are personal, some professional, many a combination,” he told Bored Panda. ”
Usually some spark — a conversation or article I’ve read — will remind me of one of those topics and I’ll very quickly try to capture, in words, my thoughts. In this particular case, it was a stew of factors including a particularly hectic time at work for myself, a conversation with someone who works for me and quite honestly a palpable anxiety in the world about how to manage all the moving parts of our lives.”
Image credits: Ian Sohn
“Why do I think it has resonated with so many people? It’s a universal topic. Finding balance is as relevant to me as it is to you as it is to everyone who has a life and a job.”
“It also seems — based on the thousands of messages I’ve received in the last week — that people appreciate someone in a leadership role speaking like a human rather than a robot. I’ve been told the message was important, but so was the tone.”
Most comments were supportive of Ian’s view
But others believe that things are not quite so simple
What do you think? Do you consider yourself to have a good work/life balance? If not, how could it be improved? Are Ian’s words a good example of leadership? Let us know in the comments below!