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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Work-life Balance: ahahahaha!

From the classroom to the C-suite, the term 'work-life' balance has become an increasingly popular concept over the past 5-6 years.

But what is it? does it actually happen?

In a world where a 9-5 existence doesn't really happen I would say that for the most part - no.

Personally, I would say that the the idea of having a work-life balance is a choice.  Like anything else in life, you have to set priorities and determine what you want out of each week.

I'm not saying you have to give yourself a boot-camp-esque like schedule outlining each breath you plan on taking and when, but a little structure never hurts.

The otherside of this is if your job is causing you to work well over 40 hours each week and you're not happy - why are you doing it?  and if you are happy... well really... if you're happy working 50+ hour work weeks for the majority of the year I think you might be lying or you're Hugh Hefner.

Do you feel you have a work-life balance? Does your organization support it in any way?


  1. You're joking, right? I'm the founder/president of 2 tech HW companies and launching a 3rd, plus a Green-Tech SW company. I try to take Sundays off.
    As for Blackberries ... not in my office. We see more and more deals screwed up by black-berries that we may stop working with clients and suppliers that use them too.
    HINT to all BlackBerry users: you can't really run a business looking at only the first 4 lines of an e-mail and ignoring all the attachments. At some point you need to sit in front of a REAL computer and catch up. Until then, you may as well not get the e-mails at all, because you are so in-effective as to cause more damage than good with your un-informed responses.

  2. Hi bEmpey,

    Thanks for you excellent feedback - You have definitely made a valid point. Does anyone else have anything to add?

  3. My organization supports work-life balance in that I would say they do not encourage excessively long work weeks and see that as more of an ineffeciency if it is a constant from week-to-week. It is more important to ensure projects are completed on-time and the results are there. Working long hours to get there is not in itself considered a positive at my org.

    I have personally gotten along without a cell phone for the last 3+ years and I have 9 staff that I supervise. They have become self-sufficient over time and able to problem solve without the option of calling me at all hours of the day or on my days off. They can still call me at home or email me and I check these consistently when away from the office.

    I simply prioritize and set boundaries with work to maintain a balance. For example, no emailing before 7 am or after 7 pm, and if I have to compose an email outside of this time so I don't forget I save it to a draft and send it the next day. I delegate tasks where possible and follow up later. To me the question of work life balance is more of a choice than anything. It's just about setting priorities but also working in an organization with a culture that shares your values and expectations.

    Gavin C.