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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Work/Life Balance is not your choice.

Work/Life Balance, as any life coach would explain, is critical to not working yourself into a grave.  One employee of mine used to say “Keep work at work.  Keep home at home”.  The point Cathy was trying to make was that if you’ve got problems at home, leave them there and on the other side of the coin, if you’ve had a crappy day at work, don’t go home and make your family miserable about it too. 
My twenty-something friend Chris is always pulling late evenings and weekends, because he enjoys it.  To him it is not work.  Our friend Fritz, a reporter, cannot stop reporting even when he is not at his day job.  His twitter feed is often more interesting than his articles due to its prolific nature.

Despite Cathy’s advice, the management at your organization may insist on a say as to how you express yourself  outside of work hours and thus taking charge of that work/life balance. How dare they!  That should be your prerogative.  Or not.  Companies ranging as far afield as Microsoft  article link and ESPN  article link are insisting on controlling their employees outside of work activities/opinions.  The point is that what you do outside of work may affect your [keeping your] job.  Does that make you “on the clock” even outside of work?  Yes.  Is it right for them to do so?  Yes, if your actions negatively impact the organization.

Example:  If your Pastor joined a hate group but only participated in its activities on Saturday’s, that might make you question his value as a Pastor. 

What you say/do outside of work can easily affect your value to the organization.  Is it after work hours?  You’re still on the clock.

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