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Work-Life Balance is Garbage

Keith Tan
November 27, 2018

The concept of work-life balance is complete and utter bullshit. Here’s why.

1. Work is not something negative and needs to be balanced out by life. In fact,
just the very idea that life and work are these two competing domains that need
to be “balanced” is a false and totally wrong premise.

2. If work is life, then you’ll never work a day in your life. Hegel the philosopher
opined that it was through our work that the “world spirit” (God) made its mark
on the world. So, work should be your life. Can there be anything greater than
fulfilling the work of the greatest power?

3. Work does not have to be a negative word. The people who think of work as
negative are probably bad or mediocre at their work. They’re not really that
great at what they do, and as a result, derive no joy from their work. Despite that,
they have decided to keep doing it.

4. These people who are sticking at doing a mediocre job at a job that gives them
no joy - are a toxic isotope to companies, teams and society at large.
Unfortunately, there are many of such people. I know many of them. You
probably do too. Or you might even be one of them. I’d estimate that at least 65%
of society is made of people like this.

5. I’m not unaware of the myriad of reasons why they’re stuck. Perhaps they
have family commitments, or trapped by social norms, or addicted to the false
stability of the job they’re currently in.

6. But really, the people who think work is negative, and they need work-life
balance, are just cowards. They do not have the courage to be great at their job,
or find a job that they can be great at. Do that and you’ll derive so much joy from
your work you’ll never work a day in your life.

I truly love Mondays, and you can too.

PS: This is an opinion piece by Keith Tan is Group CEO of the Wonderlabs Group.
Our portfolio of businesses at the Wonderlabs Group includes food, technology and human resource services Established in 2015, Wonderlabs started building software for customers. In 2016, at clients’ behest, we began to build and manage dedicated software development teams in Indonesia. By 2018, we were the fastest growing technology company in Indonesia with over 350 active deployments in Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Bandung.  In late 2018, we began expanding to different countries – Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Today at, we have Country CEOs for both Indonesia and Vietnam and my focus has shifted towards opening up new markets, and also driving our other portfolio companies.
The opinions expressed in this blog are mine, and mine alone. I welcome your most unvarnished comments and responses.  

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"I started Wonderlabs because I experienced the problems of building and managing a distributed software development team in Indonesia from 2011 to 2015. I wanted to make it seamless and frictionless for companies to build and manage teams. On the other hand, I found that there are so many amazing software engineers in Indonesia and Vietnam and wanted to connect them to employers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Jakarta" - Ivan Chang, Executive Chairman, Wonderlabs Group

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