What Do Executives Think About Work Life Balance?

June 30, 2012

I had the fortunate pleasure of hearing an Executive speak about work life balance the other day. It was refreshing to hear his perspective, similar to my own, that work life balance is defined by the individual. This can be very different to everyone, including individuals not doing work on the weekends to not working later than 7pm. It was even more interesting to hear him speak of this in relation to whether someone should stay or leave a company due to a lack of work life balance.

In my experience, unfortunately too often employees who are struggling to balance their work and their life do not seriously consider what they can do and ultimately what they can ask of their employers to do before looking externally and leaving an organisation. If you’re in this situation, I strongly recommend that you look within yourself first. You may very well leave your current employer and because of your work habits, create the same situation to occur with your next job. It is important to get to the source of why this imbalance is occurring. Please, please, please do this first! Next would be to speak with your Manager with some suggestions on how you can start addressing this issue. Always come with practical solutions, don’t expect your Manager to know what will work for you.

You must take a moment and once addressing these first two options, if nothing can be done, then you must really consider whether you should stay with an employer or not. Sometimes this is a hard decision to make. There may be times where your job may demand more of you. You must consider whether this is a short or long term reality. Also, you must put timeframes on how long you are willing to accept this for, this will also drive your cause of action. If you are constantly stressed, you have done all you can to alleviate the situation and have approached your employer, then it may be time to take stock and look for an employer who will support you in your quest for balance.

It was reassuring to hear this view of this Executive, who was realistic of the personal needs of individuals, that they may not match with the operational requirements of the position or company. I have the pleasure with working with Executives all the time and just to let you know, there are definitely some good ones who may push to get the most from their teams and individuals, however understand what it’s like to have a life going on as well. After all, they are human and have their own lives, families and other elements that are important to them too.

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