If you are from working class and especially if you are working in Information Technology Industry, then, irrespective of your position, title, and the work that you do, you would have been heard this phrase of “Work-Life Balance” umpteen number of times.
We hear this from both employees and employers where employees claim there is no work-life balance and employers claim that organization is putting in its’ best efforts to have work-life balance for their employees.
While there is absolutely no doubt that one would require to take a break from work to get re-charged and need enough rest to come fresh for the next day, the term work-life balance is something I always felt bring in some negative connotation to the work which is an integral part of the very life which we all are trying to balance with.
They normally say follow your passion and you will never have to work again, listen to your heart and do what appears as passionate to you, etc., but, we all know that not many of us are fortunate enough to find work that is passionate to us. We end up doing something for the sake of living and some of us might end up doing something else, apart from the work, just for the sheer joy of doing something which is closer to their heart, their passion. Many a times, doing something out of our passion might bring joy to us, but it might or might not help us to earn to live our life. Those who find work that allows them to do what they like are very less.
With lot of us doing the work that came in our way than by choice, this work-life balance has gained lot of importance as we have started looking at the opportunities to get away from the work. Typical meaning of work-life balance is having a regular work-day with fixed hours, maybe not more than 9-10 hours, and then start living life by doing what one likes.
But, how many of us are doing something outside the work that is not really related to the work? How many of us are mentally able to disconnect from the work once we leave the workplace? It is in this context that the phrase work-life balance appears vague for me.
By separating life from the work, we are actually complicating the whole life. We all know that we are working for earning – leave out those who work for a purpose without worrying about earnings – and we all know that whether we like it or not we will end up doing the same work day-in and day-out.
Now, when we know that it is going to be like this, how are we going to achieve the balance by taking LIFE out of the WORK? It is not the work-life balance that we should aim for, it is the WHOLESOME LIFE that we should aim for and that includes work too.
The very concept of trying to see work differently from life and trying to see work as something which is monotonous and a non-living thing will only make the life imbalanced; mind you, we spend close to 12 hours at work including the travel, preparing to commute, etc.
Best way is to see the work as part of life. See the life at work.
How often you smile at your co-worker when you enter the workplace even if she is not from your team? How often you have said good morning to a colleague from another department/team? How often have you noticed the mood changes in your team members? How often do you share a joke with your team members?
Look around the people, see the smiles, feel the emotions, cultivate healthy relationships at work.
You might change the workplace, you might get a promotion, you might get a bigger responsibility, you might feel monotony at work, you might be excited at work, but you are always going to deal with people.
There is LIFE in the people around you. There is energy around you. There is optimism around you, there is happiness around you. Look for those moments; look for those moments of living.
Don’t worry about the work-life balance. I repeat am not suggesting that one should not take a break from work and should always slog 12-14 hours/day. All I am telling is look for LIFE at WORK – Don’t take the LIFE out of WORK; after all we are working for living our life, living our life full.