A Plan for Stressed-Out Workaholics
Is juggling your work and home responsibilities getting tough? Worried about
dropping the ball? You're not alone. More workers are worried that their
jobs are interfering with personal needs. The message to workers is, start
communicating your needs to your boss and schedule time for both work and
family. The message for employers? Don't expect work responsibilities to
supersede home life or you could be shooting yourself in the foot.
Balancing work and personal life is starting to catch up with other
employment issues such as fair promotions, pay, and treatment by bosses as a
major employee concern. In a recent survey, twice as many workers said they
value having a job that doesn't interfere with personal life. They also give
poor grades to their employers in that regard. That's according to human
resources consultant Stephen A. Zimney and Cambridge Reports/Research
International who updated a 1992 survey of employee concerns with more recent
The stress and conflict between home and work is creating an unhealthy
environment at the workplace for many respondents in the survey. That's also
bad news for some employers. According to Zimney, employers risk undermining
worker morale and productivity by making it harder to take care of personal
needs. Cooperation and teamwork is the way to go. Zimney says that employees
don't want their bosses to be nannies, they just want leeway to take care of
important things, i.e., to pick up the kids at school or go to the doctor.
Here are some tips for balancing the juggling act:
1 - Schedule the upcoming week on Sunday night. Go over each day's activity
of dropping the kids at basketball practice, taking the cat to the vet, or
meeting the dishwasher repairman at the house. Plan with your spouse, and
decide who takes care of what.
2 - Discuss the schedule with your employer as far as possible in advance.
In an emergency, you need to get off work right away. But try to plan ahead
so that routine matters don't become emergencies or surprise your boss.
Negotiate how, when and where to meet your job responsibilities and tasks.
Maybe a work meeting can be rescheduled, or a report done from home.
3 - Be flexible and manage home and work creatively, by planning ahead.
Managing your work and well-being successfully is a matter of partnership
with your boss. If you are both committed to making it all work, and stay in
frequent communication, you can get it all done in a way that supports both
work and family.