Are Longer Hours and Harder Work The Future? Is Wayfair CEO Right about Work Life Balance?

We are constantly entering a new discussion surrounding employers and employees alike. Business owners often set high expectations for their employees, and a growing debate has emerged on whether or not this is appropriate. Many have begun to argue for more flexibility and leniency in the workforce, asserting the idea of work-life balance and employee happiness. However, Wayfair’s CEO, Niraj Shah, believes quite the opposite, that CEO’s should, in fact, demand more from their employees.

His email to employees was first reported on Business Insider.

The Limits of Work-Life Balance

Many people have embraced the “work-life balance” mentality to promote such flexibility that many of them forget that work is, in fact, supposed to be about productivity and dedication to the corporation. Companies cannot expect to succeed if their employees only work four-hour days, with long breaks in between or limited multitasking abilities. Thus, advocating for employees who prioritize their personal life over their job can be seen as counterproductive for the company. As such, Wayfair’s CEO’s argument encourages corporate leaders to challenge their employees to do more, explore their potential, and overcome any obstacles that may be in their way, both professionally and personally.

The Importance of Hard Work

People work hard and improve their skills to earn an income. The Wayfair CEO mentions that workers who do not work hard should expect to stop receiving any compensation. On the contrary, those who give it their all earn rewards such as raises, promotions, and appreciation from the business itself. This incentivizes employees to strive for success, as they know there’s a high return on these investments.

The Balancing Act of Corporate Profit versus Employee Happiness

As previously mentioned, there’s an ongoing discussion about whether business owners should prioritize corporate gain over the satisfaction of their workers. This issue is still relevant today as employees desire high salaries, flexible hours, and work environments that offer minimal stress. However, there must be a balance between these two dichotomies. It would be unfair to expect employees to work long hours while not receiving any benefit, just as it would be unfair to offer many benefits but little to no profits. As such, finding that sweet spot that satisfies both parties is the key.

Benefits of Demanding More from Employees

Demanding more from employees can have a positive impact on the company in many ways. Employees will increase their output, complete projects faster, and produce results that are of a higher quality. Satisfied employees who know their worth become incredibly motivated and are willing to go above and beyond to achieve company goals, which can effectively boost the company’s bottom line. By setting higher expectations and having measurable goals, corporate leaders can help their employees to achieve success and earn a higher income.


Without a profit, there is no business. Without happy employees, there’s no successful business. They’ll leave and underperform if they’re not working happily. Yes, employees should work hard for the businesses they work for. And, yes, companies should demand hard work from their employees. And, yes, business owners and leaders should want their employees to take care of their families and enjoy life outside of work. Each company will decide how it wants its employees to work and each employee has the right to decide which kind of company they want to work for.

Related article:

Here’s a Better Approach to Work-Life Balance(Opens in a new browser tab)

3 Reasons Why Work-life Balance Is Important(Opens in a new browser tab)

Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs (7 Proven Strategies for Quick Results)(Opens in a new browser tab)

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