Facebook cofounder calls out tech industry for lack of work-life balance

Facebook cofounder: Work less to be more productive
Facebook cofounder: Work less to be more productive

Amazon isn't the only company that should reevaluate its work culture: The whole tech industry needs to.

"As an industry, we are falling short of our potential," said Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz, who now heads up software firm Asana.

Moskovitz penned a Medium post this week, declaring that tech companies are not benefiting from intense work environments that leave employees stressed and burned out.

"My intellectual conclusion is that these companies are both destroying the personal lives of their employees and getting nothing in return," he wrote in the post.

Moskovitz, 31, cited studies that found that people perform more efficiently when they work fewer hours and fewer days a week.

"The research is clear: beyond ~40 - 50 hours per week, the marginal returns from additional work decrease rapidly and quickly become negative."

Moreover, when companies like Amazon encourage a culture of intense work, they're weeding out candidates who can't commit to this lifestyle -- like those with families.

"At high-performing companies, employees work extremely hard, to an extent that is unsustainable for most people," he said.

dustin moskovitz

Moskovitz comes at this topic from his own experience. He posits that Facebook (FB, Tech30) could have been even more successful if he'd prioritized his own health -- eating better, sleeping more and doing more outside of work.

Moskovitz left Facebook in 2008, but his role at the tech company made him a billionaire. His net worth is estimated at $9.3 billion.

He and Justin Rosenstein founded Asana in 2008. The company has an app that helps teams track their work together and more easily collaborate.

"Sometimes we have candidates tell us they are worried that means we don't move fast enough, or have enough urgency," he wrote. "I'm not sure what I would do if I thought these values were actually in conflict, but fortunately they are not."

Moskovitz told CNNMoney that creating a balanced work environment has been a priority since day one at Asana. The company now has 140 employees and has raised raised $38 million in funding.

"It has always been one of our values," said Moskovitz. "We seek this balance explicitly. We've come to the conclusion that this is the best way to be successful."

The Medium post was penned with young people in mind, he said. And not just those entering the tech industry, but also those pursuing jobs in fields like finance, law and medicine.

Moskovitz is the latest voice calling for people to reexamine work-life balance. Last year, billionaire Carlos Slim called for a three-day workweek. And this week, Japanese retailer Uniqlo said it will offer some of its 10,000 employees the option for a four-day workweek.

Moskovitz told CNNMoney that there's been an overwhelming response to his call for more balance in the tech industry.

But how do companies actually practice this? Moskovitz said he's planning to publish another post next week outlining tips for founders -- things like encouraging "mindfulness" among employees and managers.

"We could be accomplishing more," he wrote in the post. "You can have it all, and science says you should."

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