Sometimes we find zen. A moment of harmonic convergence in our lives when all things family, friends, co-workers, employers, work and life become one.
Sometimes. Work-life balance. [sigh] Wait, who are we kidding, right?
We don’t time zone travel with a head cold on a flurry of work trips for balance. We don’t wake up every 1-2 hours for to soothe the savage 8-month-old baby “beast” for balance.
That’s me and my family at any rate this past few weeks. But, we wouldn’t give it up for all the zen in China because the intrinsic rewards outweigh the work-life imbalance — enjoying what we do and loving our family. In fact, it’s not even really about balance or imbalance — it’s the highly integrated work-life world that we ride for joy (and that runs us down in fear).
And if I’m your employer, I’m going to do everything I can to foster the emotional connectivity and encourage the internal motivational drive, as well as moving the motivation needle externally with “rewards” when appropriate. But I want you to work hard, I want results, I’m going to focus on pay-for-performance and if your position allows, I’m going to let you do it as you see fit (when, where and how). I will be empathic and trust you, but I will not be a pushover.
And if I’m your employee, I’m going to demand flexibility in exchange for regular, quality output whenever, wherever and however I’m doing it. I want to take time off when I need it, regardless of the reason, and I don’t want to be questioned. I want your empathy and your trust and I will reciprocate. I want to to be pushed and pulled and challenged to learn as long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing in the context of what you’re doing.
And as China Gorman suggested and I concurred: “It’s just life.”
Cali Williams Yost and Leanne Chase, two of our insightful #TChat-ers, have some innovative ideas about work-life flexibility: Find a way to like what you do and keep doing it, over and over again. The mindful workplace presence of frenetic zen will take care of the rest.
If you missed Monster Thinking’s pre-cap, you can read it here: Desperately Seeking Balance: Reconciling Work and Life. And here were the questions from last night:
- Who’s ultimately responsible for managing work-life balance: the employer or the employee?
- What are the benefits/drawbacks of being salaried/exempt vs. hourly/non-exempt? Which would you prefer?
- How does company culture effect work-life balance?
- What role does technology and social media play in the work-life mix? Is connectivity a blessing or a curse?
- What are some things employers and managers can do to improve work-life balance?
- How important is work life balance to top talent when assessing new opportunities?
- What are some of the most effective or creative “perks” your company offers for work-life balance? Which do you wish they’d offer?
With a dash of worklife flexibility luck @MeghanMBiro may even make an appearance in New York City!
See you next week. We are already looking forward to it. Thanks very much for joining us.