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13th May 2024

Jeff Bezos says that work-life balance is ‘debilitating’ and work and life are actually a circle

Charlie Herbert

‘You should aim to get your work-life to where you enjoy half of it’

Jeff Bezos is not a fan of the term ‘work-life balance’ and has previously said that work and life are a circle in his eyes.

The Amazon founder has voiced his dislike of the phrase on several occasions, and spoke in 2018 about how he tried to teach employees about “work-life harmony,” instead of a balance.

He told Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner: “I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off.

“It actually is a circle. It’s not a balance.”

Two years earlier, he told Vox’s Code Conference: “I find that when I am happy at work, I come home more energised. I’m a better husband, a better dad, and when I’m happy at home, I come in a better boss, a better colleague.”

Bezos added that a lot of people have “very high standards for how they want their work life to be.”

And in 2020, he said in an interview in Mumbai that people should aim to “get your work life to where you enjoy half of it.”

He added that it’s “amazing” to achieve this because “very few people” do.

“The truth is, everything comes with overhead. That’s reality. Everything comes with pieces that you don’t like,” he explained.

Bezos is the third-richest man in the world, according to Forbes, and has a net worth of $194bn.

The 60-year-old’s fortune is largely down to the fact he founded Amazon in 1994. Exactly 27 years on from the day he founded the company, he stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Andy Jassy.

But he has previously said that he plans to give away most of his fortune to charity and good causes.

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Jeff Bezos