The 3 Reasons Work Life Balance Is a Real Issue
Time: 5 minutes 42 seconds
In a Nutshell
Here are the 3 reasons why work life balance is a real issue (less a myth) and why North American government and business policy and culture have to be fixed (oh the anti-psychology of necessity!).
(Photo via Right Attitudes & Ideas)
Sunny here again, Shinobi Career Coach and today I’m going to talk about the myth of the work-life balance. Mark Henricks who wrote about this on BNET. [He] talks about the fact that work-life balance is a myth. Some people feel like they’re working too hard, not too hard, some people are like, yeah, you know… Is it that people have enough time, is it really such a serious issue as some newspapers like the Globe & Mail and some other ones have proclaimed -that work-life balance is a huge cost, a huge issue?
It’s a Debate About Culture and Thinking
And in some ways I think that, based on all the things that are out there right now in terms of the way globalization and culture is like, this whole issue of work-life balance reminds me of this huge argument between Michael Arrington of TechCrunch and some French entrepreneur in Europe about, you know, it’s like oh, the Europeans, they’re all so laid back and you know, no wonder they’re not doing so good.
Of course, the French entrepreneur is like talking about the Americans, and North Americans believe they work too hard, they’re too cold blooded. They treat their workers like crap, terribly and then it’s driving down productivity. [And then Wall Street's crisis comes along...] And that’s where this work-life balance is really coming down to, this very shifting. North America, it’s always about the business, the individual, making money, squeezing every last penny and drop until there’s nothing left, kind of like that.
And I would have to agree with the French entrepreneur, it’s very much like that over here and a lot of other Europeans might come here that say the same and a lot of people who aren’t Europeans who pretty much say the same. You’re [often] working longer hours, especially after the recession, working longer hours, working with fewer people to help you, there’s a lot more stress, there’s a lot less job security of course, which I talk about in my book, How to Find a Job in 3 Powerful Ways: The Shinobi Guide to Job Search.
When It’s a Race to the Bottom Everyone is Unbalanced
Globalization has made it that now people are competing with people halfway across the globe in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, where wages are so low that if the job can be shuttled off to them somehow, then it will be. So you have to think about it, especially with hard hit sectors like manufacturing and forestry, etc. And you have to say, it’s like if there’s any resistance to having higher wages, better working conditions, longer flexible holidays and work periods then this and that happens, then the businesses pick up, move off somewhere else or ship the job somewhere else.
So in a way, to me, is the myth of the work-life balance truly a myth? I think it’s not a myth. I think it’s quite real, especially for hardworking immigrants who have come to this country as well and who are finding it difficult to find another job.
They can, they certainly can if they have the willpower, except think about how hard it is to do that if you’re working a full time job or several actually, maybe two or three part time jobs, just to be able to pay the bills and put food on the table.
The Answers Are There – Are You Going to Take Responsibility?
And where do you find the time? And work-life balance is just so much more tougher for people of lower socio-economic classes as well. The other thing is that the Canadian government has done a study that has shown that things that are being done in the Netherlands and Sweden, can make this work-life balance thing go away. The true issue is culture, as I already said, government and politics and of course there is so much private control, we’re pretty much not giving more freedom for workers, more balance for workers.
Because to them [the big corporations], to a lot of businesses, like the major businesses, there’s just so many people, so many expendable people, you just burn out a whole bunch and keep going. And so you’ve really got to figure out where you want to work, where it’s not that [usual] case. And that’s an interesting issue, one that’s not discussed, I feel enough, particularly among the business community.
So what are your thoughts about that, what do you think about the myth of the work-life balance? Are you working three part time jobs? Are you finding it difficult to pay the rent, have a social life, even find time to find better work elsewhere?
PS. And yes, I do mention that you need to be focussed in your job search, except you’ve got to realize that there are still some conditions that you’ll have to overcome that may be quite difficult.
So leave your story, tell me what are your biggest concerns about this work-life balance. Is it real? Am I wrong? Are the people who talk about this stuff all over the place, all over the map? Let me [and others] know [your pain or story].