Work-Life Balance, HBR edition

Work-Life balance, the impossible dream?

From Doug LaBier’s blog Progressive Impact:

But tales of short hours and relaxed work environments do not mesh with reality for many senior managers. The problem is that modern communications may allow less time in the office, but compel them to work around the clock, according to 10 executives in six countries interviewed as part of a larger Harvard Business School survey.

As I may have mentioned before, cell phone are ruining our lives. I remember many years ago when a friend got a work-issued Blackberry: that thing never stopped beeping and buzzing. The default setting on the iPhone’s new update makes it so that the phone vibrates every time you get an email. No. Just, no.

This article mentions several times that “in this climate” workers are expected to be more available and more productive than ever before. If the rise in connectivity (plane rides are no longer an excuse for being unavailable) coupled with the demand for increased productivity will (and already have) produced an unsustainable model for work and leadership.

One executive interviewed for this article described losing an unborn child as a reminder to find some balance between work and home life. The extremity of that statement is, in and of itself, really upsetting.

I have to confess that this kind of work life hold absolutely no appeal for me. I cannot imagine functioning well in these kinds of environments. Does this mean I am not ambitious? (Seriously, I was raised in a French-American education system. The French know how to live, mes cheries. We are doing it wrong.)

Read a summary of the report at Reuters.

1 comment
  1. I couldn’t agree more about the French way being a good way. I worked in France for a year and found it a much more relaxed place to be with regards to work-life balance. As I previously stated on my blog, work-life balance is a massive issue for me, and I think it is for many UK teachers. I agree with you 100% about the demands of availability being unrealistic – I think it’s even important to turn off your personal mobile and unplug the phone from time to time. Everyone needs downtime.

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