Work-Life Balance

The digital signboard  at the strip mall showed  Saturday, 8.00 PM. The camera panned to a young man who had his  laptop propped open on the  hood of his parked car, and  was reading out from the screen  into his cell phone. There were a few bags of grocery strewn around him and a toddler balanced on his shoulder.

This scene was from a video that I saw  a few years ago, about a day in the   life of a techie working for a global corporation.  I find  the image  hard to erase from my mind, despite being  a battle scarred pointy head.

It is no longer just the IT workforce that juggles roles and time zones in an integrated world.  3.00 AM  video conferences with a jacket hastily pulled over pajama shorts and virtual pizza parties  for “team building”  are eerie realities for all employees in  global  companies.   Our smartphones  are set to show the time in Dubai, Madrid and Tokyo,  and we  have trained  ourselves to use  appropriate lingo to  suit different locations and cultures.

This is,  after all,  a “period of disequilibrium” wrought  by disruptive technological revolution.  Corporations and individuals alike are learning every day to adapt  and rebalance our lives to the change.  And we  will figure it out- or our children, who are smarter than us, will.

Meanwhile, as  we await  re-stabilization,  today is  the first of May  – Labour Day in  many countries of Europe, Asia,  Africa and South America- a day to honor the efforts to  achieve better work-life balance in the  industrial era.  Do pause a moment to reflect.



One thought on “Work-Life Balance”

  1. While sadly true for many companies, I cannot but just wonder whether with some praticialty these things cannot be overcome.

    I am not a techie but I had worked for a big travel service provider and atleast in customer service. this company moved on from a “centralised at HQ” concept to what they called “follow the sun” concept. From one HQ in Europe they set up offices in Thailand and US as well , so that their customers all over the world were dealing with people at a location where it was day time. May not mean much but the productivity gains were impressive. And for key decisions which had to be made at HQ, they had a “on call” roster so that to put it bluntly (my words) not everyone has to loose their sleep at the same time.


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