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

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

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