Work Life Balance
I think the term work life balance is negative as it implies that work is separate to our life.
1. What is your opinion of WLB?
I think the terms work life balance is negative as it implies that work is separate to our life. What we really want is work life integration where the two work together. Also with so much emphasis on balance these days the term balance almost have a negative effect as we feel pressure to get balance and fee guilty when we don't achieve it.
2. Does it actually exist anymore and why are we losing balance in our lives?
There is more pressure on the average employee today than any other time in history. Companies are cutting resources yet expecting greater outcomes, every industry is feeling the pain and no one is immune. Business guru Charles Handy said that working in the 21st century is described by the formula ½ x 2 = 3. Translated, this means half the number of people doing twice the amount of work expected to get three times the result. Yes there is a trend towards less balance.
3. Does striving for balance put excess pressure on us?
Yes it does and when we don't achieve it we feel guilty. Also society makes us feel guilty when we don't have balance.
4. Do you believe WLB is achievable?
I do however most people will need to alter their idea of balance, because what they expect and what is achievable are two very different things.
5. Are most peoples ideas for balance achievable?
No they tend to be unrealistic. Most people think that balance is a destination that you arrive at where they will have all the time in the world and they will be calm and relaxed and serene. Balance varies each day and it is a constant battle. In addition many people off their balance for a future day. They say I will have balance when "the kids leave home", or when "they employ someone else at work to reduce my work load". Balance does no suddenly arrive one day. We need to find balance in all times.
6. Do we need to alter our goals and expectations around balance? Yes I believe that if we want more balance in our lives we start off with a very conservative goal and work up from there.
7. Is balance the same for all people?
No, balance differs for different people and you need to find what works for you. For some people they need balance on a daily basis, while other people only need balance on a weekly basis. Balance is a personal thing.
8. Do you know people that get WLB right and what do they do to achieve it?
They are realistic about what they can achieve and they make sure that they can integrate the balance into their life.
9. What do you think the keys to balance are? Being realistic Having a plan that is practical Set some rules Constantly re-evaluate it to make sure it is working.