Till yesterday, I was a Mega advocate of the concept of Work-Life Balance.
Most of my trainings on Success would feature a video on the “Huge Rocks of life”- Click here to watch it . I deliberately conclude the sessions by making my attendees feel dismally guilty for being at work while their loved ones would be craving for their presence. I really enjoyed demonizing those poor souls who stagger through life doing justice to just a few of the many roles that they are expected to play- People who become better employees at the cost of being better fathers and sons…..
I was wrong. Long drawn debates with a few adamant trainees and a book titled “Balancing Acts” by Barbara Glanz have made me change my stubborn mind.
Work Life Balance is a myth. It is impractical and unachievable. Throughout our lives we spend time and resources focused towards the following areas. (Feel free to add more)
• Spirit (Self Development and Spirituality)
It would be impossible to balance all these aspects of our life at any given point of time. At different stages of our lives we tend to focus more on certain areas. These stages vary as we progress ahead in our lives. As teenagers, friends are paramount. Then Work and family takes Centre Stage. As we grow older Health, Spirit and Service becomes more important. This is fine. Trying to balance all aspects together may put lot of pressure on us and we may end up doing none of the roles well.
If Balancing is not possible, what is?
An alternate approach is to try to blend all these areas together. Without losing our focus even for a minute, we can enjoy the best of all worlds by blending these areas together skillfully. I have a few suggestions on Blending Work and Family life together.
1. Take pictures or Videos of your work place and share it with your family. Let them know who is who?
2. Invite family members to join you for lunch.
3. Give your loved ones corporate giveaways from the organization.
4. Ask family members to help with a work project.
5. Explain all your major projects, their risks and schedules with your loved ones.
6. Keep your children’s things- artworks, pictures etc at work.
7. Send emails or messages to your loved ones from work.
8. Celebrate with family when big projects are completed.
9. If you are moving to a new office, get your family to help you during the weekend.
10. If you are travelling, send them pictures every night.
11. Invite colleagues home.
12. Call home at specific time each day.
13. Never miss any family gatherings in the office.
14. Organization to arrange family movie shows at least once a year.
15. Organization to arrange Field trips for children at least once a year.
By doing these, we will be more successful in keeping all the stakeholders happy. Your family is important. And one of the main reasons to work is to provide the family with all that they need. Hence work is also quite important, as it is the provider. As I said before, Balancing might not be possible. We all have to sacrifice family time and interests for work. Don’t feel guilty. You are doing the right thing. But try to blend these two vital ingredients together.
I would love to hear from you. From the 15 points above, which is your favorite? Can you add to the 15?