Hiring Wisdom: Work/Life Balance? How About a Family-Friendly Workplace?

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

Work/life balance? This popular phrase gets a lot of press, but I find it inaccurate at best.

Now that technology allows many of us to work 24/7 from anywhere, there is no such thing as work/life balance.

Even those on the frontlines in hands-on, customer service and manufacturing jobs, etc., work about 40 hours a week and sleep about 56 (if they’re lucky). That’s 96 hours working and sleeping with 72 hours left for “life.”

What “life” really means is chores, childcare, and appointments. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for what makes life apart from work meaningful or enjoyable: family activities, vacations, hobbies, reading, TV, sports, etc.

No, work/life balance is a pipe dream.

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What people really want is a “Family-Friendly Workplace.” A place where they know they have to work hard, but can count on management to make empathetic allowances for a child’s illness, a school play, and Grandma’s passing.

If you want to attract hard working, dedicated, bright people, become a “Family- Friendly Workplace” and watch them line up at your doors.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.