Putting the ‘work’ into work/life balance

Here’s something that might amuse you, taken from a British magazine. Try this excerpt: “FROM THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT: Effective Immediately… SICK DAYS: We will no longer accept a doctor’s statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work. … SURGERY: Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider removing anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment. . . “ [Read more >>]

Anti-anxiety strategies

“Promising to do this and do that can take a toll on you. Practicing anti-anxiety techniques involve letting go of the need to say “yes” to every request someone asks of you. People often experience extreme stress because they allow their commitments to take over their life. You do not have to go through this type of misdirected motivation. One way to measure if you are over committed would be to cancel an appointment you have scheduled. How would you feel if that were to happen? Would you feel a sense of guilt? Over committed persons feel guilty if they tell someone “no” because they are tired.” [Read more >>]

Canadians among the worst at taking vacations

“A study by online travel company Orbitz has found a noticeable drop in the length of time North Americans are booking for vacations. [ . . . ] Many workers, now seeing themselves as “indispensable”—a quality often supported by management—feel guilty about booking more than a week at a time. Others are worried they’ll miss something. It appears there’s a growing trend where employees don’t see the value in vacations, and find taking them more hassle than they’re worth. Preparing to leave, finding others to cover for them and the fear of falling hopelessly behind make vacations, especially expensive ones, less and less attractive. [ . . . ] “ [Read more >>]

Finding the source of work/life balance

“I’m always skeptical when I hear a company preach balance because they can’t possibly know what “balance” means for every single employee. It’s an HR buzzword. I used to believe it was the job or company that dictated how much balance, if any, existed. If I could just find the right position or the right company, magically everything would come into focus and my family would be given the same priority as my work required. I was dead wrong. It’s not the company. It’s not the position. It’s me. It’s how I manage the job, not how the job manages me. . .” [Read more >>]

What’s all this about learning?

“Organizations have little, if any, intrinsic interest in providing learning for their employees. They can’t measure or evaluate learning against their bottom line commitments. Learning doesn’t necessarily make a worker any better at the task they are being paid to do—indeed, some would argue that the provision of learning actually inhibits productivity, providing as it does, choices which an individual may not currently be aware of. [ . . . ] So, why have organizations begun to present themselves as the vanguard advocates of learning and development? Simple. The new breed of corporate cannon-fodder just doesn’t buy the same old arguments that worked so well on us and our forefathers.” [Read more >>]

Are leaders really leading actors?

“. . . it may be quite important for leaders to perpetuate the myth of having significant control over performance. As employees, we expect it of our leaders. In our behavior, we defer to leaders. And that reinforces their tendency to act like what we expect of leaders. According to this line of thinking, it may require that a leader act out the role, concealing real feelings in the process. In short, it suggests that some part of leadership is theater that perpetuates the half-truth that leaders are indeed in control.” [Read more >>]

Making a drama out of a crisis

“Managers are supposed to be able to glide effortlessly through the crises each day throws their way. In reality most end up dropping something else equally important, going all uncommunicative, working late or tearing about in a stress-induced panic. More than half of managers say that the only way they can handle crises is by getting stressed and burning the candles at both ends.” [Read more >>]

Bullies blight U.S. workplaces

“Bullying continues to cast a shadow of American workplaces, with three out of 10 HR executives admitting that they have seen an employee quit because of the way they have been treated. A survey of 100 HR professionals by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas also revealed that a third of executives have witnessed or experienced workplace bullying.” [Read more >>]

BlackBerrys and PDAs bad for work/life balance

“BlackBerrys and smart phones may have had a huge impact on executive and employee productivity but they also have a negative impact on work/life balance by making it more difficult to switch off from the office. A recent survey by RIM found an average BlackBerry user converts one hour of downtime to productive time each day and ups their overall team efficiency by 38 per cent. All of silicon.com’s 12-strong CIO Jury IT user panel agreed BlackBerrys and smart phones have improved their productivity but warned it can have a negative impact on work/life balance without judicious use of the off-switch.” [Read more >>]

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