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Work Life Balance- Fact or Fiction?

In Part 1 of this post, I defined Work Life Balance and shared my struggle in balancing work with everything else in my life. 

Part 2 will explore the controversy around Work Life Balance. Research reveals claims that Work Life Balance represents a myth, illusion, or even delusion. 

Later this week I will post Part 3, what does Work Life Balance have to do with productivity? How do employers benefit?


This video recaps what Work Life Balance is all about and promotes the idea, but did you notice the first line? There is no such thing as Work Life Balance... Even those promoting the idea take issue with the term. It seems the myth is all about semantics. Since this isn't a perspective I share, I thought it would be best to show you what others have to say.

Andrew May's post on RechargeLounge explains:  
The term ‘work life balance’ is a myth. And I actually believe that the term ‘work life balance’ itself sets many people up for failure because they either feel like their lives aren’t balanced or don’t have an understanding what balance is for them. And remember the set of scales that was so often used to depict work life balance, with work balancing on one side and life balancing tenuously on the other. Using these scales to depict work life balance again sets people up for failure because they illustrate that if work is going really well, then life tips over, and if your life is going swimmingly then work must suffer as a result.

From the Womens Media BlogMadeleine Holman writes:  
Let’s stop the balancing charade. It is an unworthy goal and unachievable to boot. We don’t want or need balance. What we need is a sense of autonomy and control over what we have promised to others and ourselves. What we need are some tools that will help us to decrease our fear that we aren’t doing the essential things we need to do to in the various areas of our lives.

Keith Hammonds wrote in Fast Company's article Balance is Bunk!:  
The truth is, balance is bunk. It is an unattainable pipe dream, a vain artifice that offers mostly rhetorical solutions to problems of logistics and economics. The quest for balance between work and life, as we've come to think of it, isn't just a losing proposition; it's a hurtful, destructive one.

In Mindfulness Matters, Arnie Kozack writes:
The term work-life implies a duality. Work is set against the rest of life. These are now in competition for our precious time and energy. If one wins, the other loses. However, life is a unity. Any separations we make are constructions, arbitrary boundaries drawn on the seamless fabric of life. 


Work Life Balance-- Fact or Fiction, what do you think? 

2 responses to "Work Life Balance (part 2 of 3)"

  1. I'm curious to know when "work/life balance" entered the American lexicon? My guess it happened when women entered the workforce and men were no longer the soul breadwinners of the family. The duality of traditional gender roles were broken down. I'm interested in looking at work/life balance as duality. Thanks for inspiring a potential blogpost at Secretariain't! Also, check out other cultures. I know in France, it's very important to never blur the lines between work and life (family, friends). The idea of having a "company picnic" in France is unthinkable!

    Nina

  2. I feel there is a time element to this. I know I can 'work too much' at the expense of family, friends, and self if I feel it is temporary. If not its too much. I also have friends with this attitude that have been working too much for decades. That lucky moment where they will work less is always right around the corner, so is the collapse of the rest of their life, a definite duality, (which I talk about in my post, http://everyoneneedsit.blogspot.com/)

    bribehle

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