Facebook COO’s Work Schedule Confession Ignites Debate In Tech World

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently set off quite a debate in the tech world when she told an interviewer that she works a 9-to-5 schedule.

In a competitive industry where your work is never truly complete, has it become socially awkward to leave work at a time that used to be the standard? And are those working eight-hour days that end at 5 p.m. being quietly judged by their co-workers? Whatever happened to “work-life balance”? Worse still: Are those who work these “standard” hours being overlooked for promotions?

Sandberg’s timing would suggest that such biases exist. She only felt comfortable talking about her work hours once she had entered the highest levels of management. What’s clear is that many in the technology industry hope to take the shame out of having a balanced life. Mashable reader Dave Plantz said of Sandberg’s story: “Good for her! Life is way more important than work and I refuse to have to go to a funeral for a loved one before remembering that. I’ll take family over developing the ‘next big thing’ anyway. I can always create new things, but I can’t keep people forever.”

Reader Jason Hunter added that we shouldn’t hold different social norms for single people: “But, let’s forget about having family or being married for a minute. 5:30 as an on average time for going home should be acceptable for everyone — single or not single … family or no family — assuming you don’t come into the office everyday at 11 a.m.”

Ultimately, I think the measure of our work is in our productivity, not the number of hours we put in. Alas, few of us are in a position to change perceptions — it’s up to both employers and employees to make living a healthy life socially acceptable again.

Do you agree that it is okay to leave a tech job at 5 pm?

Source: CNN

Image: Vogue

Black Friday Weekend Hits $52.4 B Record

Total spending over the four-day weekend following Thanksgiving reached a record $52.4 billion, up 16% from $45 billion last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation released Sunday. A record 226 million consumers shopped in stores and online between Thursday and Sunday, up from 212 million last year. Individual shoppers spent more too, the NRF said. The average holiday shopper shelled out $398.62, up from $365.34 in 2010.

Earlier openings at big-box retailers like Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Target’s was one factor boosting sales — particularly among men and young adults, according to the early tally. Nearly one-quarter of Black Friday shoppers were at stores by midnight on Black Friday, up from only 9.5% in 2010, the NRF said.

In a separate survey released Saturday, ShopperTrak said retail sales on Black Friday alone climbed 6.6% this year to an estimated $11.4 billion.

Online retailers also played a bigger role this year with a slew of deep discounts and promotions well before Cyber Monday. Online sales were up 39.3% on Thanksgiving Day and 24.3% on Black Friday compared to the same days last year, according to IBM’s Coremetrics, which tracks real-time data from 500 retailers in the apparel, department store, health and beauty and home goods categories.

Cyber Monday could also notch a new record, according to online tracking firm ComScore. Online sales for 2011 are projected to hit $1.2 billion, up from $1 billion last year, Andrew Lipsman, ComScore’s industry analyst, said.

Overall, the NRF is still forecasting overall holiday retail sales to increase a modest 2.8% during the months of November and December to $465.6 billion.


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