By Debra W. Gould, MS
Balancing work and personal demands is more challenging today than ever. Organizations are constantly focusing on how to improve production, profits and performance, while at the same time working to maintain a high level of morale. With no definitive parameters for measuring balance, perhaps the real goal should be personal and professional separation-as we explain in this blog.
Why separation is so important:
As technology has revolutionized the business landscape, many professionals no longer just leave their work at the office. This causes many people to feel they spend all their time working or on call, regardless of location. At the same time, many parents are prioritizing attendance at their kids' events and family dinners using the same technology within the time frames of "normal business hours." As a result, many people are doing two things at once-and doing neither very well. How many times have you been at a restaurant with your family and all attention is devoted to your smartphone? When your personal and professional lives overlap in this manner, both of them suffer.
At the office: Jobs frequently require people to work late, to put in extra hours and spend days on the road away from the family. This is because the job needs to get done, and a true professional understands they may have to miss a child's event or be away from home at inopportune times. To be great in business a person must make sacrifices.
At home: Most professionals today work to provide for their family, and feel their family or personal life is the most important thing to them. Moms want to be moms, dads want to be dads, and people want to be who they are other than what their business card states.
So how do you do both?
Be present at work: When a person is at work they need to be at work, no matter their family dynamics or problems-they must learn to leave them at home. The one thing that can make any family problem even more difficult is for that person to lose their job because their personal issues are affecting their performance.
Be present at home: When a person is home with their family they need to be present there. They should leave their phone and suit jacket at the door. Just like the company that pays that employee deserves the employee's very best, their families deserve their very best too.
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success.
Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576
email: firstname.lastname@example.org and
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