This past week I had the privilege of hearing a CEO address his workforce before I delivered one of my Lunch and Learn performance management talks. He talked about the next year and what would be required of each of them to be successful.
Then he talked about work/life balance.
That’s a hot topic isn’t it? It all started back during the Great Recession when those who were fortunate enough to HAVE a job pulled the weight of what used to be a fully staffed company. It meant long hours and the sacrifice of family time. As the economy improved, people still felt this imbalance and the outcry for more balance is deafening today. Good performers continue to put in long hours and stay connected to the office in the evenings, on weekends, and even on vacation.
But not EVERY employee does this do they?
I heard an interesting stat claiming that American workers only put out about 67% of their full effort at work and yet 97% of them see themselves as top performers. Admit it, you’ve seen your coworkers slack off and not “play until the whistle.” Maybe you’ve taken more than a “rounds” off in your workweek. Work/life balance then isn’t an entitlement, it’s earned.
Which is the point the CEO made to the group. He had no trouble with people taking off early for appointments and other important events. He DID have a problem with people not making up that time or not putting in effort when they were working. I found that refreshing and important for all of us to think about.
Work/life balance is nice but it’s not free. As a small-business owner, I know that any time I take away from work costs me something. On the rare weeks I’m in town, I love to attend workouts at the Title Boxing Club in Clarksville, TN. This means however that I need to leave at my house at 2:30 to make that 3:30 class which lasts an hour. Then I drive that hour back home arriving around 5:30. My workout (Life Balance) eats up 3 hours of my work day. That time needs to get made up sometime or I won’t adequately service my clients or gain new ones. Thus my habit of waking up at 4:00 AM most mornings. Work/life balance comes at a cost but I’ll pay it.
So what about you? Are you lamenting a work/life balance-less life? If so, make your request known to your boss. If you have that work/life balance, are you “playing until the whistle” each day? You’re paid for a full 40 hours. Be sure you’re doing your part before asking for balance.