For many workers, the 9-to-5 turns into 9-to-whenever-the-work-gets-done. That can often entail working unpaid overtime, missing those key family moments, or eating dinners at your desk. In some industries, such as technology and social media, working odd hours is part of doing a job well or completing a major project, and a typical 9-to-5 day just isn’t realistic.
In a job culture with the looming veil of fear that one could be fired or laid off, many feel guilty for leaving work on time or not putting in the extra hours to show their loyalty and hard-working qualities to the higher ups. But one tech executive, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, recently rejected this notion, saying she makes it a point to leave on time every day so that she can take care of an important aspect of one’s well-being: personal time and family bonding.
“I walk out of this office every day at 5:30 so I’m home for dinner with my kids at 6, and interestingly, I’ve been doing that since I had kids,” Sandberg said in a video posted on Makers.com. “I did that when I was at Google, I did that here, and I would say it’s not until the last year, two years that I’m brave enough to talk about it publicly. Now I certainly wouldn’t lie, but I wasn’t running around giving speeches on it.”
Writer Pete Cashmore explores why leaving work on time is okay, and how many successful leaders have made it a point to put a cap on overworking, putting priority on the intangible and irreplaceable moments in life.