Just a few days after our Monday discussion on work-life balance, I read this apropos article from Time magazine. A law firm in New York told all of its employees that it would be banning emails during nights, weekends and holidays. Of course, many employees were ecstatic by the news that their workday could actually end once they left the office. April Fools! The law firm’s new email policy was an April Fool’s joke. And employees were outraged. The article reads, “Since employees generally don’t like it when their bosses see their work-life balance as—literally—a joke, [the law firm] received enough backlash to send out a firm-wide mea culpa in the afternoon.” The firm apologized for its joke and said that it does take work-life balance seriously.
Even so, this story is really telling. The idea of actually having time off is laughable – at least to executives, while the outrage of the employees shows that those in lower positions do wish their time out of the office was respected as such. This example really shows how the culture of a workplace comes from the people at the top. At this law firm, employees are yearning for a break during their time off, but executives have made it clear that any sort of email ban is a joke.
With technology constantly at our fingertips, employers expect their employees and co-workers to always be connected to the workplace. So how can we monitor ourselves, and keep our own boundaries when the workplace gets too demanding? I found a great opinion piece, also on Time’s website, which breaks it down. The article can be summed up in five words: prioritization, values, strengths, focus, and organization. Even with those ideas in mind, achieving a work-life balance is by no means easy.
Edited by Vlad Odobescu