What Work-Life Balance Really Means

Though work-life balance is an important emergent issue in today’s workplace, many people misunderstand what this concept really means. Balance is more than a juggling act; it is about being in control and feeling comfortable with your choices.

When thinking about work-life balance, many people think only within the framework of what the company should do for the individual. However, work-life balance has two critical components. The other component, which many people overlook, is what individuals do for themselves in attaining meaning, achievement, and enjoyment in everyday life, including their work.

While many companies have extensive work-life programs and policies, a significant number have not yet changed their organizational cultures to support employees and managers who want to exercise work-life options. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between strong support of work-life balance practices and positive employee retention, productivity, and customer-service ratings. These are all real, bottom-line issues.

Explore your corporate and organizational work-life initiatives as part of your overall labor practices and policies. Work to actively promote and support the idea that employers and employees share the responsibility. When both company and employee efforts are complimentary, true work-life balance can be achieved and everyone benefits.

Mallary Tytel President and Founder Healthy Workplaces Sioux Falls, S.D.

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