Dear Partners,
Sometimes it appears that work life balance is more of balancing the perceptions of your employer and the rest of the society against your perception of the lifestyle you have chosen to lead.
The general definition of work life balance is considered as minimizing the overlapping of your work and personal lives over each other. But in today's 24/7 client servicing environment, where flexible or extended working hours are expected from the employers and their employees due to work strategies varying on almost an hourly basis, it seems to burn down ultimately to how much on your career growth are you willing to sacrifice to sustain that fine line between your personal/family life and your work life.
This is because taking a hit on the career growth in many cases has been observed to result in a hit on the personal finances front which in turn makes it difficult to sustain a lifestyle acceptable in normal social circles today finally hitting the economic survival of your personal/family life again.
Could you help me out with your views on the practical side of creating or maintaining a good work life balance.
Nelson Thomas

From India, Bengaluru
Dear Nelson Thomas,
Companies are not working 24/7 now, these have been working for than 100 years or so. But then what mattered was the restricting the working hours to 8 or making the workers work in the three shifts.
After the economic liberalisation, the service economy grew significantly. Since mostly it is office work, increasing working hours became quite easy. In the service sectors, employee cost was the measure cost. To cut down the cost, employees were made to work longer hours. Along with this saw increase in the project-based companies. Since the completion of the deadline of the project was the main criteria, it reduced strictness from the adherence from the daily working hours.
Work-life balance or imbalance became a challenge because of the long working hours in the office. Causes of the long working hours are as below:
a) The top boss sits for long in the office and juniors are forced to imitate him.
b) The top boss thinks that sitting long in the office is a sign of loyalty to the company.
c) Astronomical hike in the salaries forces the employees to do double work.
d) Not that all the employees are ready to work long. But they do it because many of them take a housing loan. Monthly EMI leaves no room for them to say no.
An additional reason for the work and personal life imbalance is a long time spent in commuting. In most of the cities, the roads are clogged and average working professional spends far longer time on the road than their European counterpart.
To improve work and personal life balance, employers should not allow their employees to work more than eight or nine hours. Sitting long should be considered as a sign of inefficiency. This is what Australians think we the Indians need to imitate them vigorously.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Mr Thomas,
You are very true if the person concerned is up to the level of safety needs as per Maslow theory. but in the case of Belongingness and love needs and Esteem needs your theory will not work and organisation must focus spiritual quotient or values and spiritual set rather than mindset. In the case of self-actualisation, Employees will automatically manage their work-life balance.
you are advised to analyse your team honestly and take action as per their level of needs. Only one theory can not a good solution to all.
If you want to discuss in detail, you can talk to me.

From India, Delhi
Good topic for discussion.
In olden days, especially 1930 and above our elders mostly work for one office for 35 years and retire from there. There was some value for loyalty among employers and our Parents were easily able to mange work /home life balance. They got ample time to spend with family in the absence of technology development. No mobile call from employer after office hours, no email work assignment after work hours, no work in laptop after work hours. But in the current scenario the term job security has become a big question mark in the private sector unlike old days. Employers tend to achieve the maximum utilization of human resources with multi tasking in place. In IT and ITES sectors Employers/employees were under the compulsion of achieving the project schedule as per the Project contract agreement which were not realistic there by employees tend to spend more hours at office.
While earning is from single source (employer) expenses are manifold and employees tend to increase their debts ( car loan, housing loan, costly mobiles, compulsory week end movies, regular dining at hotels, more money spend for electronic gadgets ) matching their increasing salary there by employees were under the compulsion to safe guard the employment to pay EMIs and bound to dance to the tunes of employers. The result is extended work hours and many tend to live in artificial world.
We have more friends in Face book but no contact with the neighbor. Our priorities decide the work home life balance.

From India, Madras
Dear Colleague,
In my view, work-life balance has twin dimensions. One, where Employers own the responsibility to facilitate employees by giving time offs, work from home, flexi time, leaves, or part tome work options in order to handle family responsibilities or participate in family events.
Second, the employees on their part willingly work extended hours in times of urgency and work pressures and not only do their work but also share the additional work of the team mate who is away from work due to work life balance policies.
In my view, it is not a myth but dire necessity in today's tension producing demands of working culture and it will be mutually advantageous if employers adopt work life balance friendly policies and employees also reciprocate by walking extra miles .
Vinayak Nagarkar

From India, Mumbai
Dear Colleagues,
There are still people who maintain work life balance despite their busy schedules and business compulsions. They tune their mind, make work plans both for office and for home and maintain a good understanding with family members. In my opinion, calmness of mind helps implement the work plans in a better way. Work life balance becomes difficult where people are over ambitious or both husband and wife are employed.
R K Sutar

From India, Bhubaneswar

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