December 8, 2010

Work/Life Balance: What is it? [part 1]

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e36uubh0ghgit44y/startWork/Life Balance

What is it?

In preparation for closing out the year and starting fresh with New Years resolutions and a new lease on life, we reviewed copious amounts of literature on work/life balance. This is really a subjective and amorphous little topic that gets a lot of mileage out there. But what is it really? And how do you get there?

Potential Benefits of Work/Life Balance

For companies, it can be a benefit offered to attract and retain talented employees. For employees it can make the difference to them in terms of staying engaged and invested in a company because of the respect and commitment that they feel coming their way. For the environment, one outcome may be a lighter carbon footprint. For the HR gurus, it might take the form of ROWE, telecommuting/workshifting, or job sharing programs.

Harmony between personal and professional

In a nutshell, work/life balance is finding harmony between personal and professional time. For some generations there may be more of a blending between personal and professional, so the issue is more focused on whether one’s career is perceived as meaningful work. For others, separation is sacrosanct and the work hard play hard are done in different realms, each requiring a certain dedication.

How to achieve this balance in your life?

The last few years’ new normal saw an increase of staycations and family time for many, and a stressful continuum of overtime for others. As we climb out of the recession, we may find that values have shifted a bit further towards achieving work/life balance. As the economy recovers, how do we shift gears yet not lose balance between personal and professional?

Tips 

I noted a couple articles offering “Tips” on Work/life Balance; one crafted by and for the busy CEO and one aimed at well the rest of us.

Work/life Balance Tips for the busy CEO on a quest to create equilibrium between work and play when passion for business and the ultimate executive responsibility may overwhelm. This Inc. article 10 Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance provides advice from various executives such as:

living where you desire and practice a flexible work schedule, getting oneself and one’s organization organized, buffering work with leisure and play and designating personal time, dedication to one’s focus and taking only the work you like, and cutting unnecessary communications and meetings, and grabbing lunch in Bangkok.  The article also has short vignettes from the CEOs directly.

Work/life Tips for everyone who can’t afford lunch in Bangkok. Salary.com offers 14 Steps to Achieving Work-Life Balance. These cover:

setting priorities, tracking time, focusing on one thing at a time, scheduling time for yourself, respecting your own time, recharging your batteries, seeking support, exercising, setting boundaries, and finding a coach or mentor.

Do these tips ring true for you?  

Let us know by taking this short survey, and we’ll publish the results in the new year!

Would you care to share your own story with us about work/life balance, what it means to you, how to achieve it? Submit your story by email or on the survey form.

In part 2 we’ll look at some work/life balance approaches that companies are using.

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  1. [...] Work/Life Balance – What is it? [...]

    Pingback by Workshifting Benefits Are Numerous, Just Ask Citrix Online | Hook, Line & Sinker — December 21, 2010 @ 6:12 AM

  2. [...] Work/Life Balance – What is it? [...]

    Pingback by The Federal Government Embraces Telework | Hook, Line & Sinker — December 23, 2010 @ 6:03 AM

  3. [...] Work/Life Balance – What is it? [...]

    Pingback by What is the Results-Only Work Environment, aka ROWE? | Hook, Line & Sinker — December 28, 2010 @ 6:13 AM

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