Knowing It's All Fine
For most of my working life, my experience of work has been one that doesn’t finish the moment I leave the office.
In my first job, there was the usual pressure of a job at a large multinational company, where deadlines are set from above without full knowledge of the work it takes to meet them. Team members were expected to stick to these deadlines unless they had a very good excuse, and to work as many hours as it took to finish a task.
This culture inevitably led to people setting up meetings early in the morning or late in the evening, forcing you to stay in the office to join them. Working long hours was normalised; a proud badge worn by people to show how hard they were working to contribute to the overall project.
In my second job at a startup, there were longer hours of another kind. My usual working hours were an hour longer than the “normal” office hours that most people know. In addition, as the only dedicated developer, I was de facto always on-call to fix any urgent issue.
In both of these jobs, the extension of working outside the office and usual hours meant that I never truly felt finished or disconnected from my work. There was always one more thing to do, one more email to reply to, or the fact that I carried my laptop everywhere with me so that I could stay “connected” and available.
It’s against this background that my current job at GDS is so different. I have recently returned from a holiday, and I can truly say that it’s the first time I felt completely disconnected from my work. I felt no guilt, no need to check up on what was happening, and no bugging feeling that I was missing out on something or that I was about to be contacted and asked to work on something. I could finally fully enjoy my holiday and relax.
When I first joined, I heard people describing the work-life balance at GDS as “excellent”, but my previous experiences left me doubtful about just how true that was. Now that I’ve had my real-life experience of this culture, I am happy to confirm that it is absolutely true. Nothing could make me happier and more productive at work than knowing that I’m doing something valuable and that I love, but also that I have the ability and freedom to switch off from that when I need to, while the wheels of motion continue around me.
If this sounds like a good place to work, take a look at Working for GDS - we’re usually in search of talented people to come and join the team.