You may recall that in my January 17th blog I quoted a survey that said Canadians would trade pay for balance. This week there was a discussion on Facebook as to whether work-life balance was a myth or not. I really believe the problem is definition. For me, being in balance simply means I don’t have to say “no,” on a regular basis, to people or things that are important to me.
It is important that we look at work-life balance even if we have trouble defining it. We have to work and live in a manner that enhances both our professional and personal life; they cannot be compartmentalized. If one side suffers both sides suffer. With the combination of the “more with less” corporate mantra and the multiple roles ranging from soccer mom to primary care giver for parents it is no wonder that over half of Canadians are reporting that they feel overloaded.
One of the first causalities of this overload is personal self-care. We get so busy taking care of the needs others we neglect ourselves. You would not use your cell phone for weeks without charging the batteries, why would you not recharge yourself with some R&R. You recall how the airlines tell you in the case of emergency to put your mask on first before helping others; life is no different you can’t help others if you are not healthy yourself.
It is critical that our employers help us take care of ourselves in the face of these competing demands. They need to view this as a return on their investment rather than an expense.
To the employee this means:
- Being able to work in flexible ways so that life is under control.
- Being a happier and less stressed person, thus being comfortably productive and making fewer mistakes
- Being able to effectively manage multiple responsibilities- those at home, work, and in the community.
To an employee, an effective work-life balance program means:
- To the employer this means:
- Lower absenteeism
- Increased productivity, fewer errors and engagement
- a recent MetLife study, 82% of employees said that work-life balance programs would favourably impact their productivity.
- Studies have also shown balance to be a significant factor in retention and attraction of employees.
As you can see the benefits to both the employees and the employers are high. If you are a business owner or self-employed entrepreneur you benefit twice from taking care of yourself and others. Life balance is not a “nice to have” but critical to life itself.
I would love to hear your comments below (or at firstname.lastname@example.org) or to have you sign up for my newsletter at http://www.mycoachbill.com
Next week will be about tips to help improve your balance. Here is one in the email below that I received this morning.
Subject : Absence Alert / À l’extérieur du bureau
Body “ I check my emails twice a day – early in the morning and at the end of the day. I will respond to your email within 24-36 hours. Be happy and healthy!
Je vérifie mes courriels 2 fois par jour – soit tôt le matin et à la fin de la journée. Je répondrai à votre courriel dans un délai de 24-36 heures. Je vous souhaite une journée en santé!”
Think of how much time that could save in a day!