This evening, I came across the latest issue of BusinessWeek, a issue being touted as special because it’s the first issue “created in collaboration with readers.” With the help of surveys, blogs and polls, the magazine identified the problems its readers were facing at work, and attempted to find the answers.
I quickly flipped to the article entitled “How to Get a Life and Do Your Job,” and tucked in. I mean, if there was ever a person who was having a hard time achieving work-life balance these days, I am that person. I’ve been working almost twelve-hour days lately, and feel like I’m neglecting my husband and daughter. Something has to give, and I couldn’t wait to read the article to learn what quick tips I could do to manage my life a little better.
Now before I go any further, let me just say that some of the tips submitted by readers are reasonable and logical. “Switch off the e-mail and the Blackberry,” says one wise employee. “My wife and I have achieved a great work-life balance through strategic planning,” explained another. The ideas presenting by both are worth reading. That said, do you know what almost half of the contributing readers said that they did to achieve their work-life balance? Do you?
A couple of people quit their jobs for different, more worker-friendly companies. One person quit his job “in a prestigious institution to work fewer hours in a less glamorous environment,” and has “no regrets.” In still another case, both husband and wife quit, explaining, “we needed to hit Control + Alt+ Delete on our lives and start over.”
I have to tell you, I find this most depressing. Has working life in the twenty-first century become so insane, living a stressful life become so socially acceptable, that the only way that you can possibly ever feel both satisfied at work, and sufficiently attentive to your own life and family is to quit? Have we gotten to the point where the only way to survive the pressures of life is to simply go and go and go, and then just give up and start all over? Is there no way to work in the corporate world and be energized by both the time spent at the office, as well as the time spent with family? Seriously?
What do you think? More importantly, how do you do it?