Work and personal life out of balance? You’re not alone. Those of you who know me, know that I love to follow trends. One futurist I follow is Roger Herman of the Herman Group. Herman and his partner Joyce Gioia specialize in employee retention and offer a free weekly eNewsletter that I subscribe to, http://www.hermangroup.com/futurespeak/e-advisories.htmlherman.
Herman believes – and I concur – that money is no longer the chief motivator in getting job candidates to sign on the dotted line. “Maintaining balance between work and personal lives is rapidly becoming one of the primary motivators for today’s workers. Balance has already surfaced as an important criterion for people choosing their next employer.” The focus is now on “softer issues” like professional development, being involved in decision making, childcare, and finding meaning in one’s work. Chief among these issues is work-life balance.
Many of my clients struggle with work-life balance. Upon questioning them, I find that many of their challenges are self-inflicted. It’s not so much the company’s expectations of them, as their expectations of themselves. Smart employers know they can increase employee retention rates by being sensitive to life balance.
I empathize with my clients’ struggle for balance. “I should be doing something productive,” my inner critic whispers. And with Blackberries, cell phones, and e-mail, it’s too easy to stay connected with work during down times.
I sure don’t have the solution, but I have found that if I schedule time to do the things I enjoy, I make time for them. For example, every Tuesday morning (when I’m not out of town) I used to attend a painting group at A-B Tech in Asheville. For three hours, I would have nothing to do but paint. Today, I have a studio, and I still have to schedule time on my calender to be there. For me it is time well spent, as those three hours help ground me through the week.