When I think back on my children's early years, I have a lot of memories of spending time with them while out on work assignments. Luckily for them, some of my assignments for the daily newspaper included going on hay rides, attending circuses and theater shows. Meanwhile, a lot of my colleagues who worked at the office rarely saw their children. According to a recent article by ABCNews, work-life balance is off kilter for many workers. A newly released study by the Hay Group shows 39 percent of workers worldwide lack work-life balance.
Choosing my ideal location
I was able to find work-life balance because I could live and work in a nice community where I felt comfortable. When I decided to move to Florida, I was careful to research the area so my entire family would be happy. I knew I'd be spending a lot of time working in a particular "territory," so I wanted to enjoy the scenery, amenities and restaurants. Choosing a good work locale has been one of the secrets of my contentment at work.
Finding my rhythm
One of the ways I was able to find more work-life balance was by maximizing my productivity. I found I can be more productive at certain times of the day. According to the research, providing flexible work hours is not enough because workers are overloaded with too much work. For me, the key was tackling my work assignments in the early morning and then taking a nap when I needed one.
Being a loyal employee
I worked for mainly one company in my 20s and another company in my 30s. With the exception of few distractions when I was in my early 20s, I have been a loyal worker who didn't do a lot of job happing. According to the research, 27 percent of unhappy employees plan to quit within the next 2 years. One of the reasons being a loyal employee helped my work-life balance is because of the stability. When I started my job at age 30, it took a few years to get adjusted. I don't have to waste time with a "learning curve" by staying with the same job. I've also been able to buy a home and build up my 401(k) by working for the same company.
I think during the Great Recession, most people held onto their jobs even if they were dissatisfied. As the economy improves and the job market picks up, employers might have to start competing to hold onto their more valuable employees. While pay is important, there are other ways employees can attract workers. Providing workers with more flexibility, plenty of vacation time and good benefits pays off in the long run for companies that want to retain skilled workers.
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