The fear of uncertainty is the dominant response to pressures of our society. 5-hour energy drinks are the drug of choice for stress induced comatose. The term “work-life balance” emerged to explain away the personal chaos experienced by the working populace. The utility for the definition of work-life is dependent upon individual viewpoint.
With the growing diversity of the definition of family and the report of one study that 70% of 1,500 feel they lack a good work-life balance, we have been forced to look at who is responsible for creating this balance. The effects of stress have become the topic of conversation around the water fountain. Shared sentiments of being overworked, but finding opportunities to schedule times of rest in a utopian world would exist.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a utopian world and the chameleon definitions of work-life balance has forced us realistically look at our expectations. It is encouraging to note however that as boundaries between work and home life blurs, younger generations are buying the idea that there needs to be ways to balance spending time with their families and earning an income.
In essence, we are responsible to create, find and implement pockets of balance in our daily lives.
Pockets of balance are created when certain initiatives are taken. For instance:
- Aligning the goals of the organization to reflect positive sentiments towards encouraging family life–creating a family friendly organization.
- Communicating verbally the value of having a work-life balance.
- Institute individual life planning options for members of the organization to take advantage—provide services that enable the emotional, relational, physical, spiritual, and financial aspects of the individual’s life to be assessed and if need be improved.
- Continual evaluation to find out shared feelings on work-life balance.
Perhaps the benefits of creating, implementing, and encouraging an organizational wide work-life balance initiative can be quantified in certain return on investments. For example:
- With the ability to have more time to spend on life issues, people will be able to perform work-related duties instead of spending time on personal matters.
- Organizations would be able to reduce the loss of their knowledge base as retention significantly decreases when opportunities are given to care for personal issues.
- The rising health costs to organizations will be reduced as stress-related illnesses decreases.
The symbiotic relationship between work and life is delicate. Apparently, both are not mutually exclusive. It is important that organizations create an environment in which individuals have the freedom to build pockets of balance within their daily lives. It is ultimately the responsibility of the individual to value their lives and create this balance.
Amblessed Okorie began her professional writing career in 2008, in the fields of leadership and business. She holds a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from Pennsylvania State University and a dual master’s degree in public health and business administration from St. Xavier University. Okorie is presently pursuing her doctorate in strategic leadership and foresight from Regent University. She has experience in training organizational personnel in connecting their passion to the vision of the organization. Okorie and husband reside in Laurel, Maryland.