Work-Life Balance 101 Part 1
|Can we achieve Work-Life Balance? (Part 1)|
How often have we heard our boss or supervisor say, "Let's all work together to make it happen", or words to that effect to stimulate or encourage effort or enhance performance or productivity? But what does it really mean? The focus is on work and results. No mention about balancing it with your life!
Put simply work may be defined as,
Like can be interpreted to mean anything that involves effort for oneself, on behalf of others or as part of a team. Again, there is no mention about the need to earn in order to maintain an acceptable or achievable lifestyle within the bounds set by society and the world of work nor a balance with your personal life!
Joanne B. Ciulla, a noted scholar in leadership and ethics at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond argues the case in her book "The Working Life - The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work" that work promises to contribute more to our lives than it can deliver.
Few of us realise how dangerously we depend on our jobs to be the primary source of our identity, the mainspring of individual self-esteem and happiness. In some instances, work sometimes substitutes the fulfillment we used to derive from family, friends, religion and community. This substitution is risky because the economy is unpredictable and employers and employers are fickle as they over-react to slightest negative indication in business news.
Work can also ruin lives. When companies "downsize" they leave some
with too much work and others with none. Both groups face a less certain
future. Overwork and unemployment sometimes places enormous strains
on individuals and families.
This executive needed much 'repair and healing' from a company that had 'capitalised' on his career zeal, commitment, dedication, loyalty and all other qualities often associated with exemplary and outstanding employees. Though the company had rewarded him well over the years, it had failed to communicate to him that it was among other things at the expense of work-life balance. Put simply they failed to put the "health warning" on his employment contract that sacrificing work-life balance can be detrimental to you but had given satisfaction by remunerating him generously and in good years extravagantly!
Often in our pursuit for success, we overlook the need to develop balance
between our work and non-work live. Just as we learn business and work
skills, we need to learn knowledge, skills and abilities to enable us
to socialize, play and relax. We send our toddlers to play school so
that they can learn to play with and befriend other children of their
In the process they learn to interact and share with not only children
of their age but adult caregivers. These caregivers are trained and
skilled in developing good and healthy interactive social skills and
behaviour as well as teaching the children to play with others and enjoy
themselves. Surely the ability to socialize, play and relax must be
important for us to spend generously to send our toddlers to play school!
|This article is the 7th part of a series of 8 articles on Work-Life Balance. This article was contributed by Kamal Kant, Principal Consultant, Next Transition. Kamal is also a career coach with an interest in career management and career related issues including work-life balance issues. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|