Superman often had a difficult time juggling his day job with his Clark Kent persona.  Conflicts of interest, multiple priorities, and too many things to do are challenges you fully understand!  Don’t we all?

Businesses today usually talk a good talk about how their employees must maintain a good work/life balance.  The message sounds good: “You have a life outside of work!  Enjoy it!”  That message is politically correct.  And at its core, it genuinely is a valid practice for everyone’s benefit.

Nevertheless, some businesses interpret the work/life balance as a one-way street instead of a two-way street.  If work/life balance means you are always on call for your boss(es), you are connected 24/7 via technology, and you frequently go above and beyond the call of duty with no corresponding direct compensation then something is wrong.  Your employer is not showing you the opposite lane on that road.

Life/work balance is a great thing when done correctly and fairly.  That means life/work balance is a two-way street.  Just as you have made accommodations in your personal time for work duties, likewise, employers must understand the occasional accommodations in your work time for personal duties.

Please do not misinterpret me.  I have observed many organizations today that have this one down pat.  Cheers to them for being progressive, fair, humane, holistic, ethical, and kind!  I love it.  Unfortunately, there are many places where much work (pun intended?) remains to be done on this topic.

What do you think?  Is the life/work balance dynamic getting better where you are or worse?  Do you see progress in this area?  For the companies that handle this well, are you seeing improved employee retention as a result?  What do you do when you believe the situation is being abused?

My guess is the answers to those questions will be quite diverse and interesting.  Let’s see what we can learn.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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