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2/8/2008
09:26 PM
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The Work-Life Balance, Ahem, Blur

Looking at the hundreds of responses to our New Workplace Challenges survey (if you haven't taken it yet, click here to take the survey today), we find that almost 70% of knowledge workers surveyed do work during times that traditionally have been "personal time."The comments have been telling and I'd like to share a few with you. The question we posed was "Please describe how you prevent the work-life line from blurring."

  • The traditional 8-5 has never worked well for me. There are personal things I want to do during the day and there are clients that cannot work with me until after 5 p.m.
  • I've accepted the BLURRING and try to use it to my advantage.
  • They are one.
  • I don't.
Most comments were similar to these about the challenges of maintaining an appropriate work-life balance:
  • I do an extremely poor job of it.
  • I don't do a good job at this.
  • I have not ever, really, succeeded in keeping them separate. My mind stays occupied.
  • Difficult to do - especially with BlackBerry.
  • I don't have the luxury of preventing work from overlapping with home life.
  • I don't - they totally blur.
  • I am a failure in that regard.
A few (in the minority of course) had good practices
  • I don't take work home. I try to leave within an hour of my 'quitting' time.
  • I lock my laptop in my desk at work & don't take it home.
  • When I am "off the clock" I turn off phone or do not read/respond to BlackBerry messages.
I feel sorry for this person:
  • It is difficult because I am notified of problems 24x7x52.
The manager of these knowledge workers is lucky:
  • If I'm working on work it's work, otherwise it is life. I like programming enough that it is not really "work".
  • I enjoy my work and my clients, I do not mind them blurring.
And there's always the silver lining. One comment pointedly told of the advantages:
  • Actually, I let it blur and I like it that way! Having a blackberry and the ability to work from home as needed gives me the flexibility to ensure that my work gets done without sacrificing my family life.

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