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

 

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>


BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news