Day after day we work against the clock to get all the things on our to-do lists are done. Whether we actually are accomplishing more is debatable. We may answer more emails, but does that really count as accomplishing something? We are sending and replying to texts, but is that really communicating? “We have become human doings rather than human beings. We resemble supercharged robots with our wiring a bit frayed” (Hochart 61).
Maintaining work-life balance is not only important for our personal satisfaction and our families, but it can also improve the efficiency of our work performance. In today’s fast-paced business world, the ability to achieve work-life balance is becoming more and more difficult. Employers expect more from their employees, and we are increasingly putting additional pressure on ourselves to achieve greater results. But when did it become acceptable for our 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. working day to become 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.? Many of us have allowed this to happen, whether it is through conforming to the workplace culture, or feeling obliged to put in more hours, however this should not be the case.
However, the nature of work has undergone dramatic changes in the last few decades and inevitably this has had a significant effect on the ways in which family functions. The rapid development of the information and communication technologies, increased globalization and the growth of competitiveness are all changes which have had an immense influence on corporations. In response to these changes, organizations have started to implement “new ways of working” (NWW) (FEDÁKOVÁ 68) in order to adapt successfully to these developments, in terms of both work and family requirements.
Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that.
An individual’s work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for today will probably be different from tomorrow. The right balance for those who are single will be different from those who are married with children; when starting a new career versus when nearing retirement.
Therefore, there is no perfect, one-size fits all. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives.