Yesterday, I appeared on CNN Headline News to discuss the work+life “fit” issues raised in Sunday’s New York Times article “When the Work-Life Scales are Unequal.”
My keys points in the segment were that we need to:
- De-parent and de-gender the conversation about work and life. In our modern, hectic world, we all need flexibility and support to manage our responsibilities on and off the job.
- Communicate and coordinate with each other more effectively to get our jobs done, and to make what matters to us in our personal lives happen as often as possible. This mutually-beneficial collaboration and coverage model replaces the traditional “9-5, in the office, Monday-Friday” boundaries that used to tell us when work ended and our personal lives began that no longer exist.
- Stop seeking work-life “balance” because it doesn’t exist. All we can find is our own work+life “fit” and do it in a way that considers our needs and the needs of the business, our manager, and team.
- Do a better job planning the personal activities and priorities we want to make part of our week. See where there might be a conflict with work and identify whom you need to coordinate with.
What I didn’t get a chance to say is when you initiate that work+life fit coordination discussion with your colleagues, focus on “how” you are going to get your job done, and not on “why” you need to work differently. It makes that conversation more productive and more likely to result in a mutually-beneficial outcome.