Friday, November 21, 2008

Finding Work-Life Balance In a Tough Economy

This week on my XM/SIRIUS radio show, Making a Living with Maggie, I focused on a topic that is hitting many of us - lack of work/life balance. To hear a replay of the show, sign-up for a free trial of SIRIUS and tune in Sunday at 6am to SIRIUS 112/XM 157.

As the economy worsens companies react by cutting back (WSJ: "Executives Shift to Survival Mode".) With layoffs, the work demands increase dramatically for those left to carry the load. Employees also feel pressured to pass on vacation time for fear of not having a job when they return. Business owners are feeling the pressure too and many are over-marketing, over-selling, and taking any client (whether a fit or not) that they can get.

The problem I see with survival mode is that it's not sustainable and it's not good business. Let me tell you what else I'm seeing. Companies who are taking care of their employees right now even more. They are still planning holiday parties, and offering perks such as an onsite-trainer. They are implementing "open book financial management" where the employees see the numbers side of the business and are educated about which numbers they can impact and how. It's a team effort. I'm also seeing entrepreneurs who are being more selective about their marketing/sales efforts and which clients they take on.

You see it's the difference between scarcity and possibility. If you believe in the work you do as an employee or business owner, you continue to see creative ways to expand your impact, even in tough times. You also continue to attract clients and customers who want to see you succeed. You take care of yourself and your employees because they are vital to the innovation and ideas you need to succeed.

Now is the time for you to focus on possibility, take care and have even more balance in your work/life. If you're feeling out of sorts, tune into my radio show this Sunday and learn how to negotiate for better work/life fit. It's better than surviving, it's thriving!

What's your work/life balance situation? Are you feeling increased work pressure and demands? Is your employer offering support? What would help you take care of yourself as an employee or business owner?


Allison Cheston said...

Hi Maggie,

I so appreciate you sharing these positive thoughts when so many people are so down in the dumps about their work situation.

I constantly tell my (employed) clients that they have a lot more leverage than they think since they are still at their organization and carrying the load. There is a good reason they are still there, and they should make sure that they help their bosses acknowledge that.

They are in the unique position of being able to create proposals that show how creating a healthy environment for employees makes good business sense.

Rick Hoel said...

Hi Maggie,

I enjoyed your piece. I just started a Blog,, and in the next several days will focus on remebering that your life is always in process there is nothing preventing one from living it to the fullest with a psotive attitude no matter what hard times challenge you at any given point.


Rick Hoel