Why work life balance is still a thing

Work life balance
Work life balance
Businessman trying to find his work life balance.

There is much debate about whether work life balance is dead. Some propose there’s no such thing as work life balance anymore, as indicated in a recent Bloomberg article [1] that shows overwhelming evidence that it is indeed becoming more challenging than before.

Some authors propose work life integration is a better option. One such writer suggests there are three main reasons for the shift from work life balance to integration.

  1. Boundaries between family and career are blurred.
  2. Employees are willing to give up personal time and some feel they don’t have a choice.
  3. More employees are working remotely than before.

I agree that all of these things are happening, however, I also believe it is at out peril. Work life integration encourages work to encroach on family time, personal time and leisure. I am suggesting that work life integration encourages workers to multitask and divide their simultaneous attention between their various roles.

Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 hour work week, proposes lifestyle design as a way to take back control and achieve your work life balance. I am a big fan of Ferriss’ work because he pushes boundaries that many people will not. I highly recommend you read Tim Ferriss’ books if you want to learn about taking control of your time in today’s world.

I am choosing to use the term ‘work life management’ on this blog. I believe, either as an entrepreneur, freelancer or an employee, you will be responsible for setting boundaries and taking control of your life. Many people comment that work life balance is dead because the rules of the game have changed. Are we now just surrendering to the fact that we are machines, destined to spend the rest of our days working to keep the economy running until we die?

I would argue that the very point of economic development should be to improve the quality of people’s lives. If we cannot achieve the work life balance, then what are we working for?

We live in the most resourceful time in history. My argument is that we don’t need to work harder. We need to work smarter. If you want to find some balance in your life, you need to take control of your time. You need to set boundaries between your work and personal life because no one else will. If you want to achieve your work life balance, you need to take control and manage it yourself.

 

References

[1] ‘Five Charts That Show¬†Work-Life Balance Is Dead’, Bloomberg. Accessed at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-05/five-charts-that-show-work-life-balance-is-dead on January 17, 2017.¬†

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