Work Life Balance…

So your boss has a habit of getting into the office at least an hour before business hours and works for at least an hour after closing time.
But you don’t care because you believe it is important to spend that time with your family.
Your boss requests that you provide input to a new deal that he is writing up a bid for, and which he needs it over the weekend. So you let him know firmly but politely that you need to retain your own sanity and that you are switching off for the weekend.
Most of this  is easier said than done. Our generation has only one, single minded pursuit…to retain our respective jobs regardless. It doesn’t matter what we say…we’ve been pretty much the same way ever since the 1800’s industrial revolution…in a relative sense of course.
So if you swallow everything above verbatim…you’d better have a great placement agency signed up!

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The problem is that if your peers or your boss is in at the office an hour early and leaves an hour later at end of day…every single day…you are going to stick out like a sore thumb if you stick with your 9 – 5 routine.
If your boss asks you to take on projects over the weekend consistently and you choose to accept a project once every 6 months, that isn’t going to help your case either. I think we need to stay real and grounded when we use ‘management speak’ in the style of this article…some things are truly written as ‘feel-good’ arguments that seek to get us thinking in one way…whereas the reality is focused on an entirely different compass point altogether!

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It seems that we are reluctant to embrace the change happening all around us and try instead, to cling on to the past management aphorisms and ‘sound-bites’, without factoring in today’s environment. Work/Life balance needs to be seen in the current context. Today we are all connected through multiple devices and technology to our workplace as well as home, and the lines of distinction between what used to be strictly off limits (home) are now merged into a seamless connection to the workplace. We no longer need a computer to stay connected thanks to smartphone technology. We do not need to be at the office thanks to mobile solutions and applications. We no longer need to be at home to welcome the kids back from school because we can monitor our homes (video/audio) remotely.
We need to recognize that today’s technology does indeed allow us to do much more…and the competition forces to keep running forward, just to stay in the same place!

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I am loathe to digress into someone’s personal theories and motivations around how we should address the issue of work/life balance. Nor am I a believer that we can somehow miraculously transcend from the present context of hard scrabble existence we are forced to deal with daily into some utopia where the negative elements of work/life balance are obviated or minimized at worst.
Learning, unlearning and relearning is the only option we have today (Thank you Mr. Toffler). Lets not be buried under wishful thinking and esoteric, idealistic, ‘feel – good’ homilies.
Technology (yes that is a solution) can be both a blessing and a curse at once – it can help us spend more time at home with mobility solutions, but it can also enforce more of ‘Big Brother Is Watching You,’ environment in the process. The ‘Bricks and mortar’ workplace is rapidly vanishing, to be relentlessly replaced by virtual work environments – that are mostly mobile or work at home spaces. get used to it!

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