As the crisis at Uber reached a critical moment this week, a familiar voice filled the company’s San Francisco headquarters. Board member Arianna Huffington — the onetime pundit and digital publisher with a distinctive Greek accent — addressed employees, emerging as the most visible leader of a company trying to recover from months of self-inflicted wounds.
But where many saw a company that exemplified the worst of the tech industry’s male-dominated “bro” culture, Huffington had concluded that there was an additional reason for the rampant sexual harassment and other unprofessional conduct reported at the company: a work-life balance gone disastrously awry.
She had publicly warned of the dangers of coddling “brilliant jerks” at Uber, but she also worried that Uber — and Silicon Valley generally — had developed what she called a “workplace culture fueled by burnout.”
“It’s one of the delusions that drives modern workplaces, especially here in the Valley — that burnout is necessary for growth and success,” she said in a statement to The Washington Post. “That’s why it was important to lose ‘always on’ and ‘working longer’ from the cultural values, especially given that we now have the data that proves conclusively that being always on and working […]