Hug your kids more because you’re excellent at what you do

8626305_mThe Yahoo story broke over the media beach like a Tsunami last week. You’d think the most important company in the world set the future direction for work. They aren’t and they didn’t. Silicon Valley and the rest of the world will go on as before and the shift to more flexible work will continue.

As someone who works from the road, home or office, the arguments for always being together be productive are just silly. We’re all different people with widely varying roles that make everyone’s circumstances a one-off.

Forget work-life balance

The idea of work-life balance isn’t really the issue. In a great article on Venture Beat, Brad Field describes how he and his wife find ‘work-life equilibrium’ that’s defined by the point where the work effort and the enjoyment of life are sustainable and good. ‘Work-life balance’ makes it sound like the two need to be balanced when the truth is they need to be integrated in a way that works for each individual. That’s different for everyone.

Despite the thousands of responses calling work from home people lazy or valiant, the cold hard truth remains…if you’re very good at what you do, you have influence on the time and place of your work effort. You and your choice of where to work set the equilibrium line. If you want to hug your kids more, you need to be truly excellent at what you do.


If organizations hold their people accountable for very tangible work, it becomes easy to see who’s excellent and who’s not. Excellent is in short supply and companies know it when they see it. They will pay for it and they will make allowances for the needs of those who are excellent.



Categories: Future of work

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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4 Comments on “Hug your kids more because you’re excellent at what you do”

  1. March 3, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Excellent perspective. And like you mention, I too am totally a believer of the fact that there is no such thing anymore like “work-life balance”. The two are getting more and more intertwined and during any given day, regardless of our physical location, it is near impossible to say when one ends and the other takes over.

    And the truth is, this was always inevitable for us as ‘knowledge workers’. Only thing is that it is all becoming more apparent now with all these devices and BOYD and device convergence we are seeing that are allowing us to move from a thinking to a doing mode.

    As knowledge workers, knowledge and the passion associated with it comes and goes along with us as we enter and leave our offices and homes. In the end, work and our commitment to it become a ‘present continuous’ expression that is more about a love for something and the associated passion, rather than a monthly effort that results in a mere paycheck.

  2. paullabelle
    March 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    It’s absurd to think successful 21st century companies with clients offices and partners scattered around the globe would handicap themselves by only employing those able to commute into one or a few locations every day. But then I suppose not all tech companies will be able to compete in the 21st century.

  3. March 4, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    I think its telling that this internet company – designing products and services to bring us together over the internet – can’t somehow find a solution to this problem using their own products and services. It’s like they’re admitting that their products and services will only give you a fixed amount of capability, and that’s not enough to actually run a business or build a brand.

    Think of how this would have been different if they had put out a series of case studies about how they solved this problem using technology they developed. Hey, Google has its “Hangouts”. Look at all of the cool things that’s enabling!

    • March 4, 2013 at 6:23 am #

      John, I agree. To me, this only spotlighted the challenge they really face, enthusiasm from the inside. That’s tougher to fix and won’t happen by putting people in a building together.

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