Following on from my last post (Schmalentines Day), I’m going to continue to saturate the blog market with yet another post on an overly written about topic: Work Life Balance.
Being born in October of 1993 has led me to be classified as a Millennial Libra; and whilst I don’t identify with many Libran traits, I do identify with many Millennial traits. Late last year I attended a conference on employee retention (my inner HR nerd was having a field day). Within minutes the work life balance debate was brought up. Whilst I do believe in the work hard play hard mentality, there are countless different ways you can go about it.
With an increasing skew towards Millennials in the composition of the workforce, we are slowly beginning to take over workplaces. Whilst we still enjoy remuneration and recognition, there are definitely countless new boxes that organisations must begin ticking in order to attract and retain talent. The list goes on an on and will probably be inspiration to another blog post but today I am going to talk about work life balance.
Or as the Millennials (stereotypically) prefer, work life integration.
I no longer want to keep my personal life completely separate from my work life. I want to have workmates in the workplace that I can also hang out with at the pub on a weekend. I want to be able to introduce my family and friends to my colleagues and vice versa. I want to be able to use my personal phone as my work phone. I basically want to slowly blur the line between my personal and work life because well, why not?
Technology is Great, Use It
Move over corporate funded brick phones, we live in a day and age where a personal phone can easily be used for work purposes and vice versa. Embrace it!
Embrace it because it will save you time. The more time you have the richer you are in both dollar signs and happiness.
When you have down time at work, use it wisely. When you come up with a legendary groundbreaking idea out of work hours, jot it down. Don’t let it escape your mind simply because the timing is not right.
No Dickheads Policy
Depending on your workplace, there is an overall increase in focus on organisational culture. Candidates are beginning to be assessed on cultural fit as well as industry experience and technical expertise. This initial filter means colleagues are more likely to get along with one another (well for the most part at least).
Less dickheads in the office means more potential outside of work friends. Yay!
So there you have it kiddos. One third of the secret to work life balance is not actually work life balance but work life integration.
The second third of the secret is knowing when to say no. Just as you would politely decline a best friend asking you if you are free to drive them 10 hours down the coast while their car is being serviced, you can also politely decline a boss who is asking you to stay back late to work on a project that you simply did not receive enough resources to complete on time. We create the culture. No-one wants to be the first one to leave, but sometimes you’ve got to be the trendsetter.
Now I’m not saying that you should kick up a stink every time you are put under stress or are asked to stay back a little later, but I am saying that you have the right to push work back. If deadlines are the issue, you have the right to demand more resources. The more work you happily take on, the more work people will happily give you. There comes a point when you need to stop staying back late to finish work that is not in your capacity. There comes a point when you should stop mimicking the workaholic leaders of your organisation. Work hard but work smart, don’t be a part of creating a culture where working overtime is the norm and an early mark is leaving on time.
Lastly, the final third to the secret of work life balance is having a hobby. This ties in with the first two thirds.
Work life integration – tell your workmates about your hobbies; open a window into your personal life. Who knows? You may find that Bob on Level 2 also really wants to get into knitting. Maybe Jane across the hall also wants to get into scuba diving. You won’t know until you spark up a conversation inside the workplace about non-work related topics.
Knowing when to say no – Hey Boss.
Sorry I can’t stay back late tonight because I promised Kassie I was going to post on the blog tonight and I haven’t gotten around to it yet. See you tomorrow morning.