Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Work-Life Balance 'A Myth'

23 February 2007

Work-Life Balance 'A Myth'

The idea that busy workers can micro-manage their lives to achieve work-life balance is a myth and doesn't help to deal with stress, says meditation expert and author, Paul Wilson.

Mr Wilson was brought to New Zealand this week by leading recruitment firm Robert Half International to address 250 finance and HR professionals at a business breakfast on the theme of Perfect Balance.

Known internationally as the "guru of Calm" Paul Wilson is the best selling author of Instant Calm, Calm at Work, The Little Book of Calm, Perfect Balance and more recently The Quiet. In his presentation to Robert Half, Mr Wilson outlined his personal philosophy on how to obtain perfect balance and encouraged New Zealanders to think beyond the idea of just re-scheduling their priorities.

"The whole notion of work-life balance is a myth," he said. "Anyone who thinks that by rearranging the different parts of their lives they will achieve balance is fooling themselves.

"All these skills you have of being able to micro-manage don't work when it comes to finding the balance in your life."

Wilson said when, as a young businessman, he started investigating how to find balance in his life, he went back to the example of his father, who worked in shearing sheds in Australia's outback.

His father travelled long distances, worked seven days a week in uncomfortable surroundings and was often away from his family.

"By all standards, his life should have been unbalanced." But it was not. "He was doing something meaningful, something he wanted to do."

Wilson said finding that personal meaning, or centering, was the key to reducing the stresses of modern life.

When people tried consciously to achieve "work-life balance" they frequently focused on their work, social life and health, but too often they forgot their spiritual side.

"I'm not talking of spiritual in the sense of religion ... but in the sense of 'my life has purpose, I'm doing something useful'.

"Unless all these elements of life are in balance somehow, then life will never get that sense of balance."

Everyone had experienced times when they were centred and nothing fazed them - such as when their first baby was born, or when they had just fallen in love and they felt a sense of meaning.

Learning to reconnect to that sense of meaning, even when stressed, was the only long-term way to achieve balance, he said, and it was an intuitive, personal task - not something employers could provide.

This did not, however, mean that workplace initiatives to encourage work-life balance - such as allowing flexi-time, working from home and unlimited sick leave - were a waste of time.

"Companies have a responsibility, and there's a bottom-line advantage in companies doing these things. Actually connecting with a sense of purpose is something only individuals can do."

Because the world around them was constantly changing, people would need to make constant, small changes to their lives to maintain a sense of equilibrium. But once they had centred - become aware of what gave their lives meaning - they would be able to maintain that sense even in stressful circumstances.

Robert Half's Division Director Kim Smith says "Businesses need to recognise that expectations have changed and work-life balance is now paramount for most employees. It is up to the individual to find what works for them but employers have the ability to make this a reality with a open mind and flexible approach."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news