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A post on the Harvard Business Review says that the work-life balance is a myth…! What do you think? Here’s why I think it is FAR from a myth.
John Beeson posted on HBR – about a subject I’ve written many times about on this blog – the Work-Life Balance. Beeson says that, nowadays, moments of relaxation and down-time are fleeting. Constant pressure means that it’s sink, or swim, and that every opportunity for a short, sharp bout of relaxation should be taken to power-up for the next round.
Say goodbye to the two-week vacation with the family. That’s history in most organizations. Instead, seek to find those activities that allow you to relax — even if only for 15 minutes a day.
– John Beeson
Don’t know about you, but I can’t relax in prescribed, regimented sessions. It’s counter-intuitive to the point.
The ‘Myth’ of Work-Life Balance….?
Perhaps John Beeson has a point. In many organizations, c-level execs just don’t have the luxury of 2-week vacations once a year. Most companies demand hard-graft and the ‘consequences of failure are punishing’. I have experienced this myself, and he is right – right when I look back at those organizations where non-stop, grueling demands were placed upon me and all at senior management level.
But, you know, this is only true in those kinds of organizations. Google is a great example. Google demands no less than its 100lbs of flesh. Their institutionalized employee meat-grinder is legendary.
This isn’t true for all organizations, though.
We sometimes forget, we DO have a choice where we work, even in these tough economic times. We don’t HAVE to take this ‘myth’ as a given, and take it on the chin.
Work-Life Balance Does Exist
A recent survey for Glassdoor.com reported that 54% of employees report good work-life balance, while 43% of employees wish they had better work-life balance.
Glassdoor.com also compiled a list of the 25 companies with the best balance of work and personal life. The top five for the best work-life balance are Nestle Purina Petcare, MITRE, SAS Institute, FactSet and United Space Alliance.
- Nestlé Purina PetCare
- SAS Institute
- United Space Alliance
- Slalom Consulting
- Susquehanna International Group
- Mentor Graphics
- Agilent Technologies
- Turner Broadcasting
- Southwest Airlines
- General Mills
- Biogen Idec
- MTV Networks
- National Instruments
Many of these organizations are household names. I don’t think work-life balance is a myth, but just a consequences of choosing a demanding employer.
We CAN choose not to work like this. And who says we will be less successful for it?
So ask yourself, are you truly stuck in a job that’s more like a sweat-shop, or are you really choosing to stay in this job? Are you forgetting that you have a choice where you work?