Work Life Balance Schmalance

Shawnee Love   •  
February 15, 2013

I have been waxing poetic over the last few weeks about the need for more work life balance only to be stopped dead in my tracks by a conversation with my mom who pointed out that all the older workers she knows “seem to work harder and longer than the younger people surrounding us”.  In her eyes, there is too much “balance” and not enough work going on.

It is definitely all a matter of perspective.

My mom is a Boomer and a key characteristic of Boomers is that they prioritized work before pleasure (per Winning the Generation War, Conf Board of Canada Study released in 2009).

That same study pointed out that Gen X was the generation that invented work-life balance.  In fact, it went on to say (in the most diplomatic way possible) that most of Gen Y’s are hardworking too, it is just us Gen X’s who are slackers.

Admittedly, priorities tell a lot about what decade you were born in.  As a firm Gen X’er, I still maintain that having a balance between work and life is important for resilience and long term effectiveness.

However, there is a Japanese saying that roughly translates to

A Change is as Good as a Rest

That saying dovetails neatly with one of the major conclusions of the above mentioned study which said all generations want flexibility to choose whether they choose work over life, vice versa, or something else entirely.

At risk of dating yourself, what do you choose?