Did you know that the Society for Human Resource Management has reported that 76% of American workers are considering looking for another job and, further that they estimate there will be 22 million new jobs created over the next ten years, but only 17 million new workers available to fill these jobs? While every generation of workers has a different set of work expectations, the desire for work/life balance has become one of the foremost goals of every generation in the workforce today. Baby Boomers are reducing work hours and many ‘Thirty-Somethings’ are starting their own businesses in order to have more control over their lives and schedules. A recent study done by the Families and Work Institute illustrates that young workers just starting out in the workforce are choosing to turn down promotional opportunities to achieve greater work/life balance. Why do you suppose these apple-cheeked, enthusiastic job entrants might take this approach? In a study done with young employees by Families and Workplace, work/life balance was among the top for both genders. Most of these young adults were raised in families where both parents worked and they experienced the sacrifice and demands placed upon their parents, firsthand. Not surprisingly, of all the generations in the workforce today, these young adults are the most likely to consider job flexibility and schedules when they look for a job, and it is key to employee retention for companies that employ these young workforce. The point of all of this background information is to let you know that you are not alone in your desire to find balance. All generations in all types of jobs are today, looking for balance, less stress, and more time with family and friends. Like you, these people are willing to give it their all when they are at work and they expect to work hard, but in exchange, they want a life.
In essence, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
If you think that work and family life balance is a small problem, you may be interested to know that, in addition to the few companies that have recognized the issue and taken the lead in establishing life balance programs, there are
numerous organizations, foundations, universities and groups doing research on this topic.
Organizations as diverse as religious groups, government agencies, human resource companies and behavioral scientists now study these issues and, not just because it is the right thing to do. There are real economic advantages to companies that recognize the need for life balance and create a working environment to help their employees live their lives more fully. Companies spend a lot of money training and keeping employees and happy employees will stay longer, live longer and contribute to the company longer. But, we are just scratching the surface in understanding the true human toll that an unbalanced life takes. Many have studied the evolving societal issues and their roots in overwork and lost community connections. If you WANT more balance in your life but you wonder whether it is all that important, let’s talk about the reasons you NEED this balance.
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