leadership

Why Richard Branson doesn’t feel guilty about taking a break from work

Eloise Keating /

 

Virgin founder Richard Branson says he never feels guilty for taking a break from work for himself or his family – and other entrepreneurs shouldn’t either.

It’s an important message as the festive season kicks into gear and some business owners have the opportunity to spend more time with their loved ones.

Branson recently sat down to answer questions about work-life balance from the readers of his LinkedIn blog.

One reader asked the well-known entrepreneur if he has ever felt “a sense of guilt or anxiety that you could be working when you were taking time for yourself? How did you change it?”

Branson said it is a question he is asked frequently and “the answer is no”.

“The reality is that the way we are working is changing rapidly – more and more companies are focusing less on how many hours their staff work or what time they leave the office each day,” he said.

“By working more efficiently, there is no reason why people can’t work less hours and be equally – if not more – effective.”

For Branson, the question goes back to the leadership of businesses “as people need a great example to follow”.

“A real leader keeps their eyes on the business goal and ultimately if people are working toward that greater goal, it shouldn’t matter if they need to take time for themselves too,” he said.

And Branson says taking a break has other benefits too.

“You also never know where inspiration may strike,” he says.

“You have a better chance of coming up with your next great idea or a solution to a problem when you are relaxed than when stuck at a desk.”

 

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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