As with many things in my working life I often wonder if my opinions are reasonable or extreme. If I view something as being unacceptable is it me, or is it actually unreasonable! Employers are always after more for less; work harder, work longer, do more. If you raise any kind of objects or clarification with your employer you are simply charged with being difficult.
A recent example for me is a request for three days off work being viewed as unreasonable in the middle of a six month project; I was told that I don’t I understand how important this project is and that I must go the extra mile! The inference that I have taken from this is that if the project fails it is all my fault because I had the cheek to have a break.
There is of course more to this example than I have written, but I don’t need to be told the importance of the project – they are all important. I always do the best job that I can for both my employer and the client.
So this brings me to the point of this post – Work Life Balance. What does this actually mean in reality? Based on my experience it means nothing. It is simply one of those politically correct statements that employers use to make themselves sound good.
But is this fair? Am I reading too much into these three words? I thought I would do a little research to find out.
Interestingly everything I read falls into the “self help” category. “How to deal with stress”, “managing your work load”, there seems to be very little if any acknowledgement that businesses should also take some responsibility. Self help is important but if you are continually put under pressure to perform is that not wrong?
Well of course it is. But underlying everything is that your destiny, your health, your happiness is in your own hands. Nobody is going to sort it for you!! If you are not happy, then say something. If nothing changes, move on! Life is too short!
One of the best articles I read while writing this post was on the businessballs.com website, entitled “life balance, happiness and life change”. Read it, do the exercises and then make up your own mind what, if anything, needs to change.
Yes I genuinely believe that employers have a duty of care to their employees to ensure that they are not put under undue and inappropriate pressure. However, what is “undue pressure” to you wont be to somebody else, so therefore the biggest and most important duty of care is the one you have to yourself.