A holdover from the 20th century, in which work at home meant a briefcase full of legal pads or someone calling your landline, it makes no sense in today’s world.
Work/life balance has outlived its usefulness. Here’s why:
First, that work is separate from (and not a part of) life. Two, that work and life together comprise the totality of human existence. Three, that achieving balance between them is important/desirable.
In patriarchal terms, during which hours did you have to wear a tie? 👨🏼💼
In Microsoft’s yearly employee survey, for instance, work/life balance is always carefully scrutinized by managers.
Not because it is required to be, but because we want it to be. It enriches and educates and stimulates and drives us.
It is something we care about, part of our identity.
Separating out what is work and what is life isn’t always clear or relevant.
And here’s the rub: it cuts the other way, too. People engage in life at work, checking Twitter, Reddit, watching video, etc. The boundary between “work” and “life” is permeable.
The expectation that there’s just “work” and “life” doesn’t fit and makes people feel like they’re failing.
Some of these things give me energy, and some sap my energy. I need the right balance of all of these things to be happy.
Some of these make me happy, some of them I dread. As with work, there are many parts—I need a balance here, too.
We’re trained to believe there’s a certain “right” answer.
What is necessary? What is growing you? What gives you pleasure?
And balance those things.
Flexible hours? Flexible time off? Culture that supports intermingling of personal/work? Culture that supports a growth mindset?
There are no rules or right answers for what you discover. Work and life and everything else are all just you!
Work/life balance, as a concept, needs to go. 🙏🏼