“Our society has set up an absurd idea that it will be possible to do many things and do them all completely well. That’s why we hear so much talk about an elusive thing called work-life balance. A perfectly optimal career and a perfectly optimal home life.”
The concept of work- life balance can be a difficult thing for people to grasp.
Which begs the question, should employers be more supportive of employee’s personal lives?
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Ways to achieve it
CKNW producer Grace Sullivan decided to hit the streets to find out what Vancouverites had to say.
“As soon as I leave my workplace, I try and completely disconnect and focus on hobbies and other things I like to do and put that as a priority.”
“I try to have more fun than work, but that’s the benefit of being your own boss sometimes. I’m an electrician. I’ll have fun and if I feel a little under the weather, I’ll go in when I want, and as long as I get the work done.”
“I make sure I spend a lot of time doing things I like doing, besides just working. Mind you, I’m sixty three, so it’s taken me a while to figure that out.”
It’s clear from those comments that Vancouverites are trying to achieve work-life balance, but it is up to your company to support this as well?
Author and TED-X speaker Nigel Marsh has fairly strong opinions on the matter and says casual Fridays aren’t enough.
“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quite screaming desperation, where they work long hard hours at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like. It’s my contention, that going to work on a Friday in jeans and a t-shirt isn’t really getting to the nub of the issue.”
Are companies doing enough to support work-life balance for their employees?
One local company is trying to do just that.
Traction on Demand is a cloud consulting and software developing firm in Burnaby that continues to build their company model on work-life balance.
CEO Greg Malpass says it’s about bringing personal things into the workplace.
“We actually serve every person lunch every day, through a healthy salad program, a little separate room where we put all things necessary for a mom or a dad to kind of bring their kids into the room. There’s a musical instrument area for a bunch of people who enjoy jamming, so we actually have all the instruments for a complete band. We even have a bouncy castle in a meeting room. We’re really trying to carry spaces that facilitate to many stages of what people are doing throughout the course of the day.”
Malpass says we all talk about work-life balance but he doesn’t know if work-life balance is the correct word anymore.
“I think its harmony. The thing I’m always kind of looking at is actually personally is Traction a place I’d like to work?”