Company president and single dad tells his employees to not apologize for ‘having lives’ in viral essay
- Ian Sohn wrote an essay telling people to not to apologize for trying to maintain a work/life balance
- Among the things Sohn said he ‘doesn’t need to know’, this includes why employees can’t travel on weekends or why they need to work from home
- Sohn is a single dad and said he used to worry about balancing parenthood and his career, but now says he doesn’t feel guilty
- The LinkedIn essay has gone viral and has been liked more than 20,000 times
Ian Sohn (pictured), the president of a company in Chicago, wrote an essay telling his employees to not apologize for trying to maintain a work/life balance
A single dad is encouraging employees to stop apologizing for ‘having lives’ in an essay that has gone viral.
Ian Sohn, the president of Wunderman Chicago, a global digital agency, says he wants employees to have a work-life balance and not feel like they constantly have to be ‘connected’.
‘I never need to know you’ll be back online after dinner,’ he wrote in part in the LinkedIn post.
‘I never need to know why you chose to watch season 1 of ‘Arrested Development’ (for the 4th time) on your flight to LA instead of answering emails. I never need to know you’ll be in late because of a dentist appointment.’
Sohn also writes that employees never need to explain why they can’t travel on Sundays or why they need to work from home.
‘I deeply resent how we’ve infantilized the workplace. How we feel we have to apologize for having lives,’ he continues.
‘That we don’t trust adults to make the right decisions. How constant connectivity/availability (or even the perception of it) has become a valued skill.’
In his post, Sohn said that he’s worked for employees in the past who didn’t understand that his life didn’t revolve around the office.
He recounted one episode in which ‘a senior colleague reacted with incredulity’ that he wasn’t able to catch a flight in 12 hours because he was watching his children.
While Sohn didn’t feel guilty, he says he felt horrible.
‘I never want you to feel horrible for being a human being,’ he concludes .
Since the essay was first posted yesterday, it has been liked more than 20,000 times and has more than 800 comments.
Many commenters praised him for understanding the need to balance work and personal obligations.
Among the things Sohn said he ‘doesn’t need to know’, this includes why employees can’t travel on weekends or why they need to work from home. Pictured: Sohn and his sons
Sohn is a single dad and said he used to worry about balancing parenthood and his career, but now says he doesn’t feel guilty. Pictured: Sohn and his sons
‘Your post brought me to tears. I hope my grown children find a boss like you,’ one LinkedIn user wrote.
‘Louder for management still in the stone ages!’ joked another.
Sohn told TODAY Parent that he’s a divorced father who has been co-parenting his two sons, ages eight and 12, with their mother for nearly seven years.
He said he used to worry about how to juggle parenthood and his career but says he learned ‘I don’t need to apologize for being a parent.’
‘The days I have the boys, I have to leave work by a certain time,’ he told the website. ‘The days I have the boys, I can’t be in another city.’
He added that he is humbled by all the comments that have been left since he first posted the essay.
‘I appreciate people being brave enough to share their own story with a stranger,’ he told TODAY Parent. ‘It’s a beautiful thing.’