It looks like someone just went to An Event Apart (or saw Zeldman recently)!
While I love Tobias’ work, I am not necessarily beholden to his writing. To me, this is the opposite of empathetic UX thinking.
There is so much more to consider when speaking of the concept of work/life balance than what was written here. This piece almost sounds like bragging, and doesn’t warrant much discourse for that purpose alone.
You like your career. Good for you.
Around the world, the vast majority of people work because they have to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. It is a significant minority who are able to do something they truly love every day.
In America, there is traditionally very little reward for work efforts compared to other developed countries. Things such as paid time off (holiday/vacation), maternity and paternity leave, and even competitive salaries are mitigated as much as possible (though it is improving), and sometimes this occurs regardless of education or tenure. Western Capitalism has created the façade of company loyalty (again, it is improving) when in fact an employee’s salary and benefits are marginal compared to the profit margin. This is where the “hatred of work” philosophy was spawned: work 60–80 hours a week, eat at your desk, develop a bad back, sleep 5 hours a night, and then only earn 15 vacation days a year.
You had better love your job when it is all you are doing.
While it is fortunate (and ideal) for one to love what they do as a career, it is also necessary to separate oneself from their work on occasion, even if merely for mental or physical health purposes.
Society celebrates Fridays because they get to spend time doing whatever they want. And nobody pays you to do whatever you want. Not in the true sense of the word whatever.
“Work/life balance” may be an old, unsexy buzzword (or phrase), but it serves a very specific purpose for the majority of working adults.
If Tobias thinks this concept is bullshit, then I at least hope he doesn’t really mean that for anyone with a family who works under him.
Let it be known — I am happy with my career, but I leave work as soon as possible every day because I my 1 year old son goes to bed before 8pm.
When else can I spend time with him? Work and life are most definitely two separate things, and I tend to prefer it that way.