Work/Life Balance Should Be Work/Family Balance

Work/Life Balance Photo
Author: Amy Lewis | Source: HCI | Published: May 23, 2011

Work/Life Balance is a misnomer, in my opinion, and devalues the passion and commitment we have for our professions, which are such a large part of our lives.  The term “Work/Family Balance” (hat tip to Anthony J. Fasano, writing on CareerRealism) helps to correct this misalignment, by reminding us that what we’re really striving for, as employers and employees, is to have successful, rewarding jobs to support happy, healthy families.

So, as employers, how can we foster workplaces that allow for the best balance of work and family?  Start by creating a great workplace first, says Dan Pink.  He shared a new research report on family-friendly workplaces (FFWP) in the US and Europe.  “Firms with a higher proportion of female managers and more skilled workers tend to implement more FFWP.”  Adds Pink, “These initiatives might not earn money, but they pay for themselves, and can produce less-tangible benefits as well - such as attracting women to and retaining them in management positions.”  So, employ more women leaders, make work and family more balanced?

While more women leaders sounds like a great idea across the board, the point of the survey is that having a FFWP doesn’t make you a great employer; instead, being a great employer means you are a more FFWP.  I think one can reasonably argue that being family-friendly is just one key aspect of being great; what nominations do you have for other components?

We’d love your feedback on a new survey on the contract workforce.  We’re interested in how your organization uses contingent talent.  

Meanwhile, Suellen Oswald, Attorney and Shareholder at Littler Mendelson, and Eric Rumbaugh, Partner at Micheal Best & Friedrich ask “Is your workforce a class-action waiting to happen?”



Image: lisaclarke