Saturday, July 5, 2008

Work-Life Balance

A week ago in Friday I heard about World's Best Presentation 2008 Contest and figured out that I would like to participate.

I have worked like crazy this week on the presentation, on marketing it, and on running the office in my job.

Now I need a holiday!

Luckily my holiday starts now.

Jack Welch
wrote a chapter about Work-Life Balance in his book Winning:

In the '60 and '70s all my direct reports were men. ... I never once asked anyone, “Is there someplace you would rather be – or need to be – for your family or favourite hobby or whatever?” ... They did not attend ballet recitals on Thursday afternoons, or turn down job transfers because they didn’t want to disturb their kids' sports "careers." ... In general it was assumed that wives stayed at home to make everything run smoothly.

All that started to change in the '80s, when women started moving up in the workforce. … I started to hear a lot more about work-life balance. ... Managers started describe the pressures they felt trying to manage travel and transfers in two-career households.

Debate about the topic became more intense in the early '90s. These conversations forced me to confront ... the conflicts involved in managing two full lives – the one at work and the other after hours, be it caring for kids, volunteering at homeless shelter, or running marathons.

Basically work life balance has become a debate about how much we allow work to consume us. You can be like me and my type, and make work your major priority. Or you can attempt a kind of literal balance, with work and life each getting 50 percent of your time, or you can go to surfing 80 percent of your time and work 20 percent. There are as many work life balance equations as there are individuals.

Achieving work-life balance is a process. Getting it right is iterative. You get better at it with experience and observation, and eventually, after some time passes, you notice it’s not getting harder anymore. It’s just what you do.

This is surprisingly valid to my situation this week. I presented the world my view of women's right to education, which will eventually lead to them moving up in the workforce, also in the countries where wives still today stay at home to make everything run smoothly. This week I have made work my major priority – it was easy since my family was on the other side of the world (but I hardly had time to sleep). Tomorrow I will fly to them and start my holiday.

Due to my holiday and travel, I will not update this blog before beginning of August, but will follow the comments. And follow the contest. While posting this, my presentation is leading the Education category. I can take a holiday now, and let social media take care of the rest.

“Is there someplace you would rather be – or need to be – for your family or favourite hobby or whatever?”


Samuli said...

a BIG THANK YOU to all who watched, voted, commented and/or did favorite my slideshow!

This one was voted 9th most popular in the Education category - out of 786. Unbelievable.

My other slideshow, Our Iceberg Is Melting, was voted 33rd most popular in the same Education category. I never could have dreamed of having two shows in the top 5%.