Please see below selected recent balance-related change.
- For writer Henry Mintzberg, we have to leave behind the divisive politics of left versus right, to realise that a healthy society balances a public sector of respected governments with a private sector of responsible businesses and a plural sector of robust communities.
- Women and millennials in particular say that they seek companies with flexible policies when looking for a new job because work-life balance is so important to them. Many organisations have responded by offering flexible work arrangements, alternative work schedules and remote work options. However, not every job can be flexible - you can't tend to a hospital patient remotely or run a manufacturing line from a coffee shop - and maintaining a culture that supports flexible work arrangements isn't easy.
- Many of get the feeling sometimes that 24 hours are not enough to accommodate a day’s work, family life, personal interests and social commitments. This is not a new phenomenon: one piece of research by two business school professors in the 1980s, for example, warned that a successful career in business usually led to an individual feeling miserable in their personal life. Now, though, there seems to be a consensus that the problem is more acute than ever. Technology has blurred the boundaries between work and non-work, while globalisation has led to 24/7 demands on many employees. Meanwhile, in families where parents go out to work, childcare at home is often difficult to arrange, likewise care for elderly relatives.
- It often isn’t easy to balance holding down a paying job and being a part-time caregiver for e.g. a parent. In a Home Instead survey of 1,100 employed people who also cared for a parent or in-law, 59% felt they must choose between being a good employee and a good daughter or son.
- Two-thirds of entrepreneurs sacrifice their personal wellbeing in the pursuit of success. Research by Investec Private Bank found that entrepreneurs regard having a happy and healthy workforce as a key success signal, but they do not prioritise their own happiness in the same way. In the study, 68% of entrepreneurs said the importance of a work-life balance is exaggerated; meaning they accept that their work may invade their personal life.
- The idea of work-life balance is in any case a bit of a misnomer, because it articulates the concept of a perfect 50/50 split between work and private life. The reality is much more fluid. There is no such thing as a "perfect" balance that will work for every person and at every stage of life. What may be "balanced" for a young professional just starting out in the working world is going to be very different from what you consider "balanced" when you are later in your career.
- In some parts of the world, particularly Europe, remote work, flextime, compressed work weeks, (paid or unpaid) leaves of absence, and sabbaticals are becoming increasingly common. Yet, as great as these policies sound on paper, many have unintended consequences on workers. Flexibility does not always translate into better work-life balance. Remote workers often experience high work intensity and reduced autonomy due to their ability to communicate with colleagues through their devices at any time. This constant connectivity can blur the boundaries between work and non-work activities.
- Scientists have long abandoned the idea of there being a “balance of nature,” in favour of more dynamic ecological frameworks. But, having been ingrained in popular culture over millennia, it’s proven much harder for the public to shake. The metaphor is alive and well today, appearing everywhere from newspapers, Legos, and a health food brand name to social media, and the Lion King. The misconception impacts everything from conservation management to climate change policy; and it’s a concept that scientists would like to see plucked from the public’s vocabulary.
- Business leaders sometimes don't believe their employees are working hard enough, while the employees believe they are working too hard. The solution is to create a balance where the boss is satisfied with employee output, but employees don’t feel overwhelmed. Before setting goals for employees, leaders should ask themselves: “Can this be done in a realistic time frame, considering everything else on the employee’s plate?”
- The twentieth century saw the development of both law and chaos in art and music to the point that the end product became unintelligible at an instinctive/emotional level. Many composers saw one or other of these controlling trends as superior to the other. The solution may lie in a fundamental acceptance of balance as the controlling force in art.
- In philosophy, the concept of moral balance exists in various forms, one of them is the golden mean, which has virtue being between the extreme and the lacking.G reek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and the Pythagoreans (who related moral excellence with mathematical perfection), applied the principle to ethics as well as politics. "Nothing in excess" was one of the three phrases carved into the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. In Buddhism, this concept is known as the middle way, or samatā, which stated that the way to nirvana led between bodily sexual indulgence and self-mortification and asceticism.Confucian teachings contain the similar doctrine of Zhōngyōng; the middle.
- The idea that life should be one third learn, one third earn, one third return is attractive, even if not necessarily complete (where is the time for playing, for reflecting, for relaxing etc?), and provides a neat encapsulation of Charles Handy's advice that we should carefully "chunk" our time in order to lead a "portfolio life".
- Others are trying to scale this idea to the societal level, advocating living in intentional communities.
- Yet achieving even work/life balance seems hard to achieve for many people, despite good intentions, and understanding how to achieve such balance is for many a key goal.
- Some organisations are now focusing explicitly on balance - e.g. on how economic, social and environmental well-being links with, and is influenced by, people's personal well-being.