Work-life-balance…when will we finally make it…seriously?

Four generations at work…and who pushes the so-called work-life-balance into our lives? It’s not the mature generations, not the ones with a majority on this planet, not the ones working since ages. It’s the youngest, the ones which just enter the marketplace…

That’s sort of weird, right? Why is everyone talking about work-life-balance right now and not during the past decades? Didn’t jobs in general become physically easier, less dangerous, more fun, and better paid? So, why now? Is it the growing amount of burnouts, or the (related) fear of losing your job if you (or your child) get sick, forcing you to stay away from your workplace? And how does all of that relate to YouTubers, bloggers, and the global crowd of mind- and content-sharing individuals?

First of all, we need to make clear that for some the so-called work-life-balance still is just a buzzword. If work-life-balance would be taken seriously, then why would we still need to ask for a day of vacation? Shouldn’t there be – at least – a contingent of days which we can just take without asking for it and potentially getting a “no”? And why should the amount of vacation days be limited? If work would be integrated into life, then there is not even a real need to take “days off”. Think about it: vacation today means, that you are leaving work (the workplace) behind you, ignoring it, happily. As long as that is the case, there cannot be a “work-life-balance”. We are not leaving our life behind when we go to work either, do we!?!

I’m a generation Xer – not even a millennial  – although I really do experience in my own working habits and style since the last few years that I did and do change…and I also feel that change is happening anyways, and it’s ok to adjust…

Just look at Sweden:

Sweden’s companies are broadly reducing the working time by 25%. And guess what: the profitability – and “balance”, happiness, the well-being – increases. In fact, companies doubled their profits…though less time is spent by each individual at work (6 instead of 8 hours a day)…

And now let’s take a look at some reports on HR and the workforce of tomorrow…like, in 3-5 years from now: no matter if you look at studies from Eversheds, Winmark, KPMG, Manpower Group, IT-daily, or others’ research findings:
Our working habits, times, locations, preferences, etc. are changing heavily. Just look at BYOD initiatives which finally arrived in pretty much every company: if you do not allow a 25 year old to use his own mobile…and btw: support working from home or wherever else outside the office, you will not be able to hire (or keep) them…

Just a small excerpt from one of many HR 2020 reports (linked above): “…casual hours, flexible work arrangements and part retirement will all become normalized.
…results showing a more flexible, diverse and skilled workforce than ever before.”

Looking at other sources like Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spiegel or blogs from FAZ to Xing…it becomes clear that self-marketing will become more important than ever too…

Since the (new) crowd-based, event-driven, part-time, project-wise “gig economy” is growing significantly, it’s of massive importance to learn how to market yourself. In future, we will be working on more specialized tasks, regularly pitching against other individuals, from home (or from a café, a co-working place, or who knows from where), for just one hours or a few days, project per project…when we think we need to…

YouTubers , bloggers and other social media ninjas are doing that day in, day out already. Why? Because they like it. They present themselves. Share everything. And what they do in leisure time, they will and be able to do in business, and maybe even just expect from their job. They grow up with all of that Facebook, crowd-funding, Snapchat, bots, IoT and more fancy social internet tools and gadgets…there is (probably) no way they would change the way they are, the way they life……we all are building and changing the world together…and we do that faster than ever before…thanks to the internet, the digital transformation…and guess who changes most…the ones which post, tweet, like, …

Well, so what is that doing to our work-life-balance?

What are your thoughts on this?

Please share!

Sebastian Grodzietzki

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