Forget work/life balance. People need to shut up about BlackBerries at the dinner table and 24/7 connectivity. What you really need is a job that can blend in with your life and work for you. Since the people who don’t turn their brains off when they walk out the door arrive at the best solutions, employees need to be passionate about their work. If you compartmentalize work from the rest of your life, you are going to miss the associations between ideas. With tight budgets, employers are asking more than ever from employees so we better make them happy. Suddenly every freakin’ person’s claim to have a job that’s meaningful doesn’t seem so far off.
“Being able to step back and view things as an outsider, or from a slightly different angle, seems to promote creativity, Mr. Lehrer says. This is why travel frequently seems to free the imagination, and why the young (who haven’t learned all sorts of rules) are often more innovative than their elders” (New York Times).
“Accenture’s survey found that 64% of employees were staying put because their jobs afforded some flexibility” (CNN Money).
“The Royal College of Nursing in Britain warned recently that front-line staff members in the National Health Service are now being “stretched to breaking point,” in the wake of staffing cuts, while a study earlier this year in the Journal of Professional Nursing revealed a worrying decline in empathy among student nurses coping with time targets and efficiency pressures. Instead of imposing meaningless productivity targets, we should be aiming to enhance and protect not only the value of the care but also the experience of the caregiver” (New York Times).
How can we blur the lines between work and life to get the best out of employees and help them feel like they are doing work that matters?