Can We Close the Work+Life Fit “Gap” in 2008?

(Check out my Fast Company Blog: Top Five Work+Life Fit Goals for 2008)

According to two separate year-end surveys, over 50% of professionals say finding a better work+life fit is their top goal in 2008 (57% from’s, and 53% from Office Depot’s surveys). What will 2008 year-end survey results look like if everyone achieves this resolution? The Work+Life Fit Reality Check will have 75% of respondents saying they’ve found their fit, up from 25% in 2007. But what’s the likelihood of bridging that 50% gap over the next year? Let’s look at the positive trends identified in the this past year-end’s Work+Life Fit Reality Check.

First, be encouraged by the progress reported last year. So much of what we hear about “work/life balance,” and the lack thereof, is doom and gloom. And at first glance, one-in-four saying they found their work+life fit in 2007 isn’t overwhelmingly positive until you consider that’s a 10% improvement in 2006. So, although progress is being made, a 10% annual rate of improvement won’t be enough to reach that 75% goal. However, there are signs that perhaps the rate of change will increase.

Again only 25% of the workforce may have achieved their desired work+life fit in 2007, but more than 54% said they saw improvement. And there was more good news. Sixty percent said they were more comfortable discussing their need for a better work+life fit with their supervisor than in 2006. And 53% said the support for work+lfie fit and flexibility inside of their companies was greater than the prior year. Hopefully, that increased rate of comfort and support will translate into a more rapid rate of change this year.

Admittedly, it’s a long way from the 25% who reported having their fit last year to 75% by this year’s end. And there are clouds on the economic horizon that could impact progress. But if trends continue in the right direction, I’m confident we will make it at least part of the way.

How much do you think the work+life fit “gap” will close?