Never leave your work-life balance in the hands of your employer! A different perspective upon family time, personal time and productivity
“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. It’s my contention that going to work on Friday in jeans and T-shirt isn’t really getting to the nub of the issue”.
This is how the well-known author Nigel Marsh begins his powerful TED speech on the issue of work-life balance. His entire presentation focuses on four big observations that the author considers essential to understanding work-life balance and gaining a healthy approach towards it.
- From the very beginning, he positions himself against most of the practices that are nowadays considered helpful when trying to balance work and personal life, such as flexi-time, dress down Fridays or paternity leave, considering that they are not enough to help someone lead a successful career, while being meaningfully engaged in the family life.
- Governments and corporations will not solve this issue and should not take responsibility for the lives we want to lead. “It is particularly important that you never put the quality of your life in the hands of a commercial corporation”. In Marsh’s opinion, even good, well-intentioned companies have, as part of their DNA, getting as much out of the employees as they can, so each individual should be able to set clear boundaries related to the work-life balance and stick with them.
- People should be careful with the time frame they choose for judging their balance. Finding the middle way between “I want to do it all today” and “I’ll have a life when I retire” is the author’s recommendation in this situation.
- The need to approach balance in a balanced way. Feeling fulfilled in all life areas, from physical to emotional and intellectual is essential for leading a balanced life.
The very important conclusion that the author draws out of his observations is that finding balance does not imply making dramatic changes, but transforming the quality of your life and relationships with the smallest investments in the right places.