Joe Biden's Letter About Choosing Family Over Work Is A Reminder To Value A Work-Life Balance

Cherish the important moments.

Recently, a 2014 memo titled "Family Obligations" by Vice President Joe Biden resurfaced on the Internet after Gavin Newsom posted it on Facebook August 6. The memo, intended for Biden's staff, highlighted a number of important life events he expected his people to miss work for: religious events, anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, and more.

"I do not expect nor do I want any of you to miss or sacrifice important family obligations for work," he wrote. 

He emphasized this was "very important" to him and was something he implemented with his staff in the Senate. This particular memo, however, took on special meaning as it came at a time when his son Beau, was in the midst of battling brain cancer. Beau had gone through chemotherapy and surgery in 2013, and during that time, being with family was more important than ever.  Sadly, in 2015, the cancer returned, and Beau passed away at 46 years old.


Biden's strong stance on spending time with loved ones, and the story of Beau, serves as an important reminder that life can be uncertain and unpredictable. It is much better to miss that one day of work, than to later regret missing a family event.  

Maintaining and establishing a work-life balance can also lead to employees being more productive and happy. In the video below, Melanie Rudd, one of the authors of a Stanford University study titled "If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Consider Time," states, "When people experience the positive feeling of awe, it actually makes them feel they have more time available. It makes them feel more rich in time." 

Another author of the study, Cassie Mogilner from the University of Pennsylvania, stated, "We know that people with meaningful social connections are happier than those without them ... The more time that individuals spend with their partners, best friends, and close friends, the happier they are."

So, maybe it is just better to take that day off. And while it is up to you to find your ideal work-life balance, it is certainly refreshing that the Vice President of the United States agrees with this notion.  


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