In Silicon Valley, people famously work long hours. Do what it takes. Perfect that gadget or widget. Help your wealthy venture capital backer raise the money necessary to buy that sweet summer villa on Capri.
But in recent years, work-life balance has become a cause célèbre among tech workers, who are questioning whether a shot at the brass ring is really worth it if you don’t get to see your children grow up. The recent exaltation of parenthood by star executives like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has amplified suspicions that you can work hard while living well.
Elsewhere, in countries like France, work-life balance is a matter of public policy and the 35-hour workweek is the norm — something that even the most earnest parents in California’s tech community consider wishful thinking.
Still, 1,000 start-ups housed in an old train station in Paris are trying to prove that the enviable French lifestyle can be conducive to tech industry success. As Liz Alderman, Benoît Morenne and Elian Peltier report, President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the site Thursday in a push to make France “the leading country for hyperinnovation.”
The report, with striking photos by Roberto Frankenberg of the stylish Station F start-up incubator, shows both the challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs throughout the country.
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