Do we work too much and allow our jobs to bleed over into our personal lives? Does work become so all-consuming that it destroys whatever it was that motivated us? Can an imbalance in the work-life equation even cause harm to the employee both mentally and physically? Is it generational leaving some only wanting to work 8-5 and others content with 24/7? Basically, do we work too much?
4 Questions About Work Life Balance
I’ve heard a lot of talk and read a lot of articles recently on the concept of work-life balance. Do companies expect too much? Are we, the employees, equally to blame. Or, is it even an issue?
It is my opinion that social media and the technology powering it blurs the lines between the two more than any other time. I never disconnect – by my own accord – and am often told “turn off the iPad” or “get off the computer” when I’m off work. Do I have a healthy work-life balance? Maybe. Maybe not.
It is a balancing act – a very carefully orchestrated act of attempting to take the personal, the professional and mix them together.
Now, let’s take a look at this balancing act by answering the questions mentioned above.
Do we work too much and allow it to bleed over into our personal lives?
This question will be answered differently by different people. My answer is: YES. I am guilty of this but, on some level, I am happy with it. The key to the balance is to be able to know when to click the off switch.
Does work become so all-consuming that it destroys whatever it was that motivated the employee?
This is the biggie. Maybe, of all the questions I present in this post, this is the biggest. My answer is: IT CAN BUT SHOULDN’T. Work should never be so all-consuming that an employee feels as if he/she is drowning in work. This is the point, if the feeling of drowning in work continues, when the motivated employee loses much of what makes him/her special. They no longer go the extra mile because, at first, they simply do not have the time or energy. Then, after the motivation is lost, the want to go the extra mile is…simply…gone.
Can an imbalance in the work-life equation even cause harm to the employee both mentally and physically?
This is a no-brainer. My answer is: YES. Look no further than the previous question. The loss of motivation….the overwhelming feeling….guess what they create? How about a sense of dread when going to work? How about disdain for their job? Would those feelings then result in a potential cause of depression? YES!
Is it generational leaving some only wanting to work 8-5 and others content with 24/7?
My answer is: POSSIBLE. The key to the answer is the employee’s personality and his/her personal circumstances. For example, their job may demand 24/7 and – because the employee MUST work to feed his/her family – the employee does not have any other choice. Another employee – someone fresh out of college – would be eager to climb the success ladder. The 24/7 would be part of that climb.
What do you think? What is your work/life balance?
About the Author:
I am the Human Resources Manager at MegaGate Broadband, Inc. serving in various capacities within the company since 1996. I am the Co-Social Media Director of Mississippi SHRM and the 2014-2015 Social Media Director for South Mississippi SHRM. I am a longtime fan of Doctor Who and joined the HR Blogging community with the HR to Who blog in late 2012.