“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
Striking the right work/life balance has been tricky for a while, but now that the world is able to fit more and more easily into our pockets, it’s becoming increasingly harder to switch off and actually have some quality “me time”.
The line between work and recreation is also getting blurrier by the minute, as environments that started out as places to socialise with friends are evolving into the most fertile fields marketers and advertisers. Companies are now all getting involved in the social realm in any way they can, from Facebook Pages to Twitter accounts, and YouTube channels to Instagram feeds.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a huge international brand like Coca Cola, or a five-person design agency – employee access to company email and social network pages via smartphones and remote server login is now becoming the assumed norm. The problem gets more complicated when the device you use to access these channels of brand communication is also the gateway to your private social life (your phone or computer) – it’s hard to isolate yourself from work without cutting yourself off from your friends too.
So if your phone beeps with a notification over the weekend from Twitter or your company Facebook Page, or an email from a client comes through, what do you do? You’ve seen that there is an issue to solve or a question to answer, but at what point do you decide that work has had its pound of flesh for the week, and you’ve earned this private time to do what you want to do?
It’s a tough call, and one that will largely depend on your line of work and how integral your actions may be to the overall successful operation of your company. What is important to remember is that there does need to be a work/life balance, and everyone needs some time to themselves, otherwise what are we all working towards?
We’d like to hear your opinion on this matter, and what you feel constitutes a healthy work/life balance. Please also include any tips you’d like to offer the other readers of this blog.