Jeff Bezos tells his employees that they shouldn’t pay attention to work-life balance – something else is much more important

Jeff Bezos Michael Seto /
Jeff Bezos
Michael Seto /

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is not a fan of the term “work-life balance”.

At an event hosted by Axel Springer Verlag and US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell, Amazon boss Bezos revealed a counter-intuitive piece of advice that he gives his employees.

Bezos is of the opinion that the striving of his new employees for a “balance” between work and private life is not appropriate, since this implies a kind of exchange.

Instead, Bezos envisions a more holistic relationship between work and life outside the office.

If you take a closer look at the résumé of the richest man in the world, you can see that the Amazon boss takes a rather unusual approach to the subject of work: he has breakfast with his family every morning, does not set an alarm clock before going to bed, and lasts astonishingly few meetings and also takes a few minutes to wash his own dishes.

The Amazon boss not only advises new employees on his method

This approach seems rather counter-intuitive. Establishing a healthy symmetry between personal and professional goals is one of the most important pieces of advice that Bezos can give its employees.

“I also try to convey this harmony between work and private life to young employees and I even give this advice to older managers at Amazon. But above all the new employees, ”he said. “I am asked all the time about work-life balance. In my opinion that’s a weak term because it implies that this is an exchange. ”

Instead of seeing work and personal life as a balancing act, Amazon boss Bezos said it was more productive to see them as two integrated parts.

“It’s actually a circle, not a balance that has to be kept,” said Bezos.

Bezos said that the relationship between his working life and his personal life was reciprocal. He does not break them down into two competitive strands of time.

Read also: Ex-Amazon manager reveals the drastic measures with which the group has become so successful

“When I’m happy at home, I come to the office with tremendous energy,” said Bezos. “And when I’m happy at work, I also have enormous energy at home. You just don’t want to be the type – and everyone knows an employee who’s in it – who comes to a meeting and sucks all the energy out of the room. You want to come to the office and give everyone a certain boost. ”

You can find the entire interview as a video here.

Note: Axel Springer Verlag is the parent company of

This article was published by in October 2019. It has now been checked and updated again.


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