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Work, Life, and Everything In Between

November 25, 2010

Maintaining a proper work/life balance is an issue that is gaining more precedence, especially amongst Gen Y’s. Being a Gen Y myself, I can attest to the utmost importance of finding employment that offers the opportunity to maintain a happy medium between work and life. Though employers are becoming more attune to the need for balance, there is still a long way to go. Author of SuperCorp, Rosabeth Moss Kanter outlines some areas where we could be doing a better job.

Firstly, she outlines work overload as a major reason life is loosing the battle. Overload leads to stress, which, as we now know, has negative health consequences. Moreover, it causes us to miss meals in favour for quick bites as work threatens to overwhelm all other areas of our lives. The fix? Flexibility. Rather than the option between full and part time, employers could begin to define work in modules that suit each employee and helps to manage workplace overload.

Secondly, Rosabeth recommends offering more employees the option to work from home. Not only does it give employees more flexibility, it improves traffic congestion and air pollution. A company who is putting this into practice? IBM. In fact, about 40% of their employees work from home on any given day.

Lastly, she speaks of incorporating spirituality into the workplace. Rosabeth does acknowledge the trend towards incorporating “universal values to unite diverse people behind a common purpose,” which matches Gen Y’s desire for more meaning in their work. However, she does address the potential problems that may arise when varying religious beliefs enter into the workplace. While some choose to ban discussions of religion in the workplace altogether, those who would like to incorporate it have trouble drawing the line. Ultimately, I believe that as long as all parties are respected, incorporating your religious beliefs into your work can help create a better work/life balance.

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