Signing Off: Reinventing Work-Life Balance
As I see it, there are two types of jobs: jobs that you never really leave, that you think about well past six o’clock, and jobs you part ways with come dinnertime each weekday. You sign off—not that it’s a bad thing.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about work well after I get home—or to happy hour. I question strangers on story topics I’m researching; I scour the newspaper for work-pertinent articles; I can’t say that I mind. I’m beginning to wonder if any truly meaningful, adding-a-little-something-to-the-world job allows a person to completely leave work at the office. What would it say about your dedication, your contribution, your passion if you can completely turn it off?
On the other hand, what does it say about your work-life balance when you’re naturally inclined to ponder articles or audits or analyses post-workday? Isn’t this the point of contention in so many relationships? When parents watch their kids’ little league games, I’d like to think that they’re not also planning their business strategy—let alone writing an email—when little Sam gets up to bat.
But our generation is annoyed when an hour’s passed and our friend hasn’t texted back, or frustrated at waiting all weekend for an email reply. We’re constantly transitioning from work to “life” on our smart phones, and back again. Are we reinventing work-life balance as we know it today? Are we on track to have a little more life in our work (47 sent texts per day) and a little more work in our life (reading email on our iPads as we watch TV in bed)?
I’ll think about it tomorrow. For now, I’m signing off.