A big story circulating online today is that Google’s CFO is retiring.
Not huge news there, I know. Corporate executives retire all the time.
And, the reason he gave was to spend more time with his family. Seriously, how many times have we heard that one?!
Here is the thing though – he actually meant it.
In a truly heartfelt post on Google+, Patrick Pinchette explained how he came to this decision. The full post is below, but in short, while on vacation in Africa with his wife, the two of them looking off into the distant Serengeti, she asked him why not just keep going – keep exploring the whole world?
His initial response was what most of us say – “not now, later, one day…”
But, his wife pressed, asking, “when will it be the right time? When will it be our time?” After considering her question, he realized that time is now.
Of course, most people cannot just up and retire and explore the world now or later.
Most people can barely even look up from their laptops as they continue working at home, after dinner, pretending to pay attention to their spouse, children or themselves.
WORK/LIFE BALANCE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST STRUGGLES AMERICANS FACE.
AND, IT IS A NEED THAT COMPANIES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO ADDRESS, NOW OR LATER.
One of the big trends we are seeing is that this next generation of employees – today’s twenty-somethings – are absolutely dedicated to Work/Life balance. They saw their dads miss family events or watched while their moms replaced the dirty dinner plates on the kitchen table with stacks of papers and a laptop so she could put in another four hours before passing out in bed, exhausted.
THIS NEXT GENERATION IS ONE THAT IS WILLING TO “EARN LESS TO LIVE MORE.”
In fact, 72% of the twenty-somethings we interviewed said Work/Life balance is one of their greatest concerns in joining the working week and that companies offering work-from-home options, real 40-hour work weeks and significant sabbatical/vacation time are key factors when choosing employers.
There will be more to come on that report shortly, but the crux is companies that have grown accustomed to (and have a reputation for) over-working their employees with long hours and working weekends may find themselves struggling to attract employees in the coming years as Americans begin to focus on how to make time to live the lives they are working for.
I recommend that companies begin aligning their HR message with their PR teams to demonstrate an earnest dedication to employee happiness and flexible work options.
And, with resources like GlassDoor providing a glimpse inside the truth of how companies treat their workers, businesses may need to do more than just talk about balanced lives; they need to deliver on it.
As usual, if I can help define that message, strategy or provide custom research to guide your efforts, email me any time… except maybe after hours and weekends…these kids may be on to something.
Patrick Pinchette’s Retirement Announcement: