I have often admired the work-life balance structure the European countries have. They devote their lives to how they live rather than what they do to live. This includes nurturing a support system at home, vacations that are longer, and flexibility in their work. For example, when engaging in small talk at a party, the first thing asked in the United States is, “What do you do?” In Europe, that wouldn’t even be a part of the conversation. Us Americans have a self-image that is strongly tied into our careers.
Europeans, seem to be more secure in their positions. There appears to be an intertwining of social and corporate culture that supports work-life balance. Some studies support that even though there are more free days in the work force, that productivity is higher (now isn’t that a shocker!). Some corporate cultures in the United States are to the point of rabidness that if you take time off you will give the impression of lack of 100% commitment and not a team player. In other words, a fear based corporate culture, that I feel, and so do the studies, are antiquated and just unhealthy.
If you are reading this blog post I will assume you are interested in having it all, rather a more balanced work life. Here are 5 quick useful articles to promote and nurture your desires.
America can learn from Europe on work-life balance, CNN looks at the corporate culture and encouraged workaholic behavior
Women’s News: Career Success Means Work-Life Balance, Study Finds, Business News Daily, report on a study that some corporate cultures are getting the message about the benefits of work-life balance
The Six Components of Work-Life Balance, excerpt from Jeff Davidson’s #1 Kindle book in it’s category “Simpler Living”
It’s Even Worse than You Think, New York Times, an opinion that compares the American and German lifestyle
Why is America the ‘no-vacation nation’?, CNN an article that questions the current corporate culture and what we as American’s are choosing to give up.
Women are working harder and longer than ever before. Although, this MIGHT make sense in a fear based recession, the long term lifestyle and health benefits need a closer look.
What are you working toward? What do you want from your lifestyle? What makes most sense for your life? I believe a change needs to occur in corporate culture and in our attitudes of what really is important for our lives. I picture myself on a beach writing and coaching. An intertwining of two of my loves. What do you think?