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Is Work-Life-Balance Doable Or Mere Chatter?

March 9th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Is Work-Life-Balance Doable Or Mere Chatter?)

Some have argued that work-life-balance is not doable for the average worker, while others have suggested it is a choice and anyone can a life outside of work and point to the attitude some European countries have towards it and, in some cases, laws that have been enacted to help employees.

The dogmatic approach to work which stems from the industrial era is still prevalent in some work environments i.e. driving to work every day for a 9:00am-5:00pm shift while, sitting at a desk, attending useless meetings, and working most evenings and weekends. Today’s workforce especially millennials, are having none of this. But what does a flexible work life look like in 2017?

Is Work-Life-Balance Doable Or Mere Chatter?

An Article in HRM Online titled ‘Men and flexible work: Why is it so difficult?’ written by Laura McGeoch it states in part; “There is also a small but growing number of men who are opting to work part-time or flexibly to better balance work and family. Others want to, but are hampered by workplace culture and social stereotypes. Thirty per cent of men – up from 16 per cent 20 years ago – now work flexibly to help care for children, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Meanwhile, the number of dads working from home to care for children has doubled from seven to 14 per cent since the mid 1990s.”

The fact that many of in today’s workforce want more flexibility is driven, in part, by a growing shift and attitude towards work. Men today, want jobs that offers; flexible hours, paternal leave, the ability to work from home occasionally and not have to worry about answering a boss e-mail at all hours of the night. These changes in attitudes are also seeing more women as either the one bringing home the bigger salary or the sole breadwinner. In the short, the societal norms of how we approach work, while still pervasive is dealing with a new breed of workers that do not want to be tethered to norms of the last several decades.

So, will anything change? As with everything else it takes human being a long time to accept and/or adopt to change. Perhaps it might take generations for the real change to take place. In the meantime, the tug of war between proponents for and against  work-life-balance will continue.

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