iTunes U Course: TED Talks Leading Wisely
Lecture (iTunes): Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work
In this brief presentation, Nigel Marsh presents the realities of today's business place. Offices are constructed and well equipped with the latest technical gear, yet nobody can get anything done at work.
Why? Too many distractions and far too many meetings. Nigel too a year off of work to spend more time with his family and found that work-life balance is quite easy when you are not working :).
All the discussions about, flex-times, casual Friday and maternity leave mask the real problem that many professional vocations are incompatible with work-life balance. People work long hours at jobs they don't like, to make money that they don't need, to impress people they don't like. Going to work on Friday's in jeans and t-short is not going to resolve this issue.
Government and corporations are not going to fix this for us. Never put the quality of your life in the hands of a corporation. All companies have the need to get as much out of you as possible. We need to be responsible for setting the boundaries in our lives.
We need to be careful in selecting the timeframe in which we consider work-life balance. Nigel goes into a humorous description of his ideal day and how impossible this utopian world would be.
Later he goes into a description of a day where he needed to pick his youngest son up from school. He leaves work a bit early, takes his son to the part, then pizza and some reading. His son responded to this by saying that this was the greatest day of his life...ever. His point being is that its the little things that make the difference. You don't need to spend loads of money and go to a resort to have a great day, its the little things that make the difference.
We need to change society's definition of success as "he who dies with the most money wins" to something more enlightened like judging the success of a person by "a life well lived".