My informal LinkedIn survey indicates the language of “Work-Life Balance” doesn’t work for most people when it comes to “balance” in life.
My concern, as an executive coach, is about helping leaders achieve greater life-success with less stress.
So, I’ll leave the corporate responsibility to others like Texas Instruments.
TI made Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list (2009). Working Mother Magazine named them one of its “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for the 14th consecutive year.
According to their Corporate Report, Texas Instruments work-life programs encompass flexible working options including flex time, compressed work weeks, part time, job sharing and telecommuting, as well as options to reduce stress and ease personal life.
There’s nothing new here, but Career Builder conducted a nationwide survey to look at the pressure on today’s worker and indicators of work-addiction.
More than half of workers (52%) reported they put in more than 40 hours a week. Fourteen percent (14%) work more than 50 hours. Thirty-one percent (31%) bring home work at least once a week; one-in-ten (10%) bring home work at least every other day.
For a quarter of workers, it’s difficult to leave the office behind once they leave for the day.
- 24 percent of workers reported that when they’re at home or out socially, they’re still thinking about work.
- 19 percent often dream about work.
- 16 percent stated that most of their conversations – at work, home or out socially – always tend to focus on work.
Extended workdays and an unwavering focus on business while at home are taking a toll on family relationships.
- 22 percent of workers reported they don’t have time to pursue personal interests because they say they’re always working.
- 15 percent reported that they would rather be working than at home.
- 12 percent said the amount of time spent on work is causing friction with their family.
- 9 percent are more concerned about approval from their boss than their family.
Workers reported increased stress levels and health complications tied to pressures at work.
- 51 percent of workers reported their workloads have increased over the last six months.
- 27 percent have not taken a personal or sick day in the last few years. (Emphasis added)
It sounds like many people are growing tired of living “out of balance”; it’s hurting important relationships and the health of our work force.
Last week I initiated this conversation after a client coaching session and a recent request by a Director of Talent Strategies & Recruitment to address the topic. It remains my intent to offer a new model to help us think about “work-life balance”.
The Wall Street Journal picked up on this tension in their article: “New Model for Work-Life Balance on Wall Street?” Nick Leopard, 30 and Andy Blechman, 27 have formed a company called Accordion Partners that hires out experienced investment bankers by the hour. Why?
Flexibility…appeals to a younger generation that rejects the Wall Street ethos that work means sacrificing a personal life. “Right now, we’re getting a ton of buzz from people that have been at the banks five years and want a change,” Blechman said. (Emphasis added)
Again, my focus is to support individual personal growth not advise corporate policy. Remember who is responsible for how you live life, define success, and conduct your relationships?
What about “Life Harmony”?
(If you missed the introductory post it may help if you read it now.)
Life Harmony is a new model for “work-life balance”.
Life Harmony is about how you write your story…how your story fits into The Story of your self, your family, your community and co-workers (work).
Life harmony happens as we interweave our roles, responsibilities, and relationships into a single narrative and…like it.
What guides the making of music?
Music continues to support our exploration of “Life Harmony”. If you missed seeing the YouTube last week it will take 2 minutes now. It is a powerful illustration of the new “Life Harmony”.
Now, how does that happen?
The actual writing of music is known as notation:
It is the written expression of music notes and rhythms on paper using symbols. When music is written down, the pitches and rhythm of the music is notated, along with instructions on how to perform the music. (Emphasis added)
Music is created when the value of the notes is performed; including the sound of a distinct pitch, quality, and duration whether vocal or instrumental. Such an arrangement of notes can lead to a pleasing combination of sounds: harmony.
Creating “Life Harmony” (new “work-life balance”) is also supported by our assigned values.
What’s that worth?
That’s the question – How much to do I value this…?
When something is important it has great value or worth. Whether “work-life balance” or “Life Harmony” knowing and living our values will help.
When was the last time you reviewed your values?
How well is your life guided by your values? Where do you see conflict?
Here is a coaching exercise to help you with this, simply click and print your copy NLEC Value Worksheet.
Our values help guide “Life Harmony”.
How is your “work-life balance” affecting important relationships and your health?
How can you tap into your values to create Life Harmony? What’s “one thing”?