Why Work/Life Balance Doesn’t Work
At times I can’t help feeling that using the phrase ‘work/life balance’ reinforces the problem it seeks to address. To describe a need to balance work and life implies that work is not part of ‘life’. If that’s the case then approx 50% of the average persons hours on earth are devoted to non-life!!
People are not asking ‘how can I balance two opposing areas of existence?’, but ‘how can I live a great life; where all aspects of life co-exist and compliment each other and do not oppose each other?’ Balancing things puts them in opposing positions – we reinforce a problem as oppose to deal with it. We need integration not balance.
If you are living a non-integrated life then perhaps you need to make some major changes. Some escape home by going to work and others escape work by going home. Some people feel like two different people. The person at work is not the person at home. If that’s the case, both your team and family are missing out. For some this is so extreme they keep the two parties at arms length. They feel that if the two meet there will be some kind of implosion of realities and life will end. Actually – it’ can be that at that point that life begins.
Is it the responsibility for leaders and employers to care for their teams? Surely it is. As we have goals, vision, dreams and commitments, but they are meaningless if managers and employers destroy lives, demoralize people and deny children their parents input.
Leaders lead people not projects. If their people are not cared for they will not stay around. So what does that mean? High staff turnover, increased costs in training and resources as new staff are trained in and adapt to the businesses culture which will be unique from business to business, area to area, department to department.
Here are some ideas on what employers could do. Line your with photos of team members’ families, wedding photos, birthdays, pets. Your staff will be less likely to leave as they will be committed to the business because the business is committed to them
I suggest we need to focus on integrating all aspects of life and not attempt to balance them out. People will happily work overtime to meet a deadline when they know there is a commitment to them as a person coming back and employers will need to understand that at times staff may want some time off for the school play, or other child school events.
Treat your staff with respect, treat them as you would like to be treated. Compliment employees on a job well done and for taking the initiative, make them feel valued and worthwhile. You may be surprised at the results.
Work life balance,work/life balance,work and home,integration,time management,leadership
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