Facebook is building a “neighborhood” for its employees as part of its updated headquarters that will include housing, a grocery store, a pharmacy, public parks and a shopping center, according to a press release issued by the company on Friday.
But in addition to convenience the new headquarters may also make it easier for employees to stay at work longer and minimize interactions outside of their corporate circle.
Some executives say that not only is work-life balance unrealistic, it shouldn’t even be the goal.
“I really don’t like the term ‘work-life balance’ because work is part of my life,” Hiroshi Saijou, CEO of Yamaha Motor Ventures, says. “Private is also part of my life. I want to enjoy both.”
In fact according to Glassdoor research, as people earn more money, they see work-life separation as less important.
But others say that having personal time for family, friends and recreational activities outside of work is an important part of happiness.
“Autonomy is one of our core needs as humans,” says Joe Robinson, work-life balance trainer and speaker. “I would think you would feel less autonomy if everything is done for you by the company in that kind of all encompassing way.”
Not every Facebook employee will live on its campus —there are only 1,500 spots — but it’s likely many employees will spend more time there simply because of convenience.
“Facebook employees will appreciate the convenience of having a grocery store 60 seconds away, 120 seconds away from their cubicle or office,” says Jeff Davidson, work-life balance expert and author of “Simpler Living.”
“But it doesn’t take long before the surrounding area becomes foreign,” he says. “The company becomes a world unto its own.”
Having a separate place to call home, to do your shopping and hang out with friends, Robinson says, is essential to stress relief.
“If we don’t have somewhere for our tension from work to escape,” he says, “then it builds up. And that’s where the detachment comes in.”