How I Accidentally Created A Six-Day Work Week
As the father of six daughters, my nights and weekends are packed with family dinners, soccer games, college visits – and whatever else my wife and kids are interested in. At work, my days are equally busy, with back-to-back meetings and travel to the more than 100 countries where we have hotels. I enjoy having a full schedule, but the downside is that it doesn’t leave a lot of time for me to just think and reflect. So years ago, I started coming into the office on Sundays to take advantage of some peace and quiet and knock things off my to-do list.
Over time, I noticed more and more people coming into the office on Sunday. At first, I thought maybe they had six daughters at home, too. But before I knew it, Sunday felt just like a Monday – and it was all my fault.
What I intended to be my time to catch up evolved into an expectation for my team. I never said a word, but when they found out I was in the office on Sunday, they assumed they should be too.
As much as I appreciated my team’s commitment, it was never my intent or expectation for them to take precious time away from their families and friends to be in the office over the weekend. But how would they know that if I never talked to them about it? By not having a discussion about it, my actions spoke for themselves.
It’s my responsibility to set the tone for my team, and that includes making sure they take the time they need to recharge. While I know some people are still staying at the office late into the evening and on weekends, we’re doing a lot to change that mindset.
Instead of asking our Team Members to work around the clock, like so many large companies do, we strongly encourage everyone to take their weekends and vacations seriously. We’re always looking for ways to enhance the benefits we offer based on what our Team Members have told us matters most – including industry-leading parental leave, easier and more flexible scheduling, and a best-in-class travel program for both our Team Members as well as their families and friends.
My biggest priority is ensuring Hilton is a great place to work for the hundreds of thousands of people who work in our hotels and offices around the world. By showing our Team Members the same incredible hospitality they deliver to our guests every day, we’re not just helping them do better at work. We’re helping them thrive in all areas of their lives – and that, to me, is what really matters.
Christopher J. Nassetta is President and Chief Executive Officer for Hilton Worldwide.