Recently read an interesting article by Facebook’s COO -Sheryl Sandberg, regarding leaving work at 5.30 p.m. every day.
There have been discussions about work-life balance for many years now and it affects most of us – male & female and at all levels within the organisation. Let’s face it we know we are more productive if we aren’t tired, we know that it is great to get home and have more time in the garden, kitchen, bath or wherever – but what stops us?
In our 20s and 30s the career minded are pushing boundaries, showing the boss how hard they work and how good they really are to ensure they get that next promotion or pay rise and again in our 40s it is often about the next promotion. In our 50s and 60s it may be to prove we can still cut it and prove that our energy levels are as high as the young turks out there!
The culture of the organisation can help to promote a work life balance – it’s not about the hours you put in but what you put in to the hours that matters. Quality over quantity is what I say.
An old boss of mine – name check, John Tucker – used to take out his diary at the beginning of every year and plan out his holidays. We were working in a large corporation at the time, and as he said – “Pat no one will ever say ‘Pat Deeley was great, she never took any holidays’.” He’s right and I’ll never get those missed holidays back!
As a business owner, of course I have put the hours in over the years – in my last company I was first in every day at 7.30 a.m. to 8 a.m. so that I could leave at 4 p.m. Did I ever leave at 4 p.m.? Rarely, usually after 6 p.m. Work life balance? No. Who’s fault? Mine and mine only.
Now at AV Jobs – I get in at 9 a.m. and I leave at 5 p.m. and I work from home every Friday. Do I get as much done? I think so – possibly more because I get more quality work done. It does’nt mean I never work after 5 p.m. sometimes I have to and yes it’s nice that I get the choice. (And the rest of the staff work flexibly too – it makes for a happy office and we definitely have that).
What do you think? Have you got the balance right? Has your company got the balance right?