Pura Vida: Rethinking Work-Life Balance
In this episode we dissect the concept of work-life balance and provide our tips for achieving healthy balance and working smarter in corporate America. If you haven’t heard the term “Pura Vida” it is a way of thinking embraced in Costa Rica, and it refers to having a perspective to life that evokes a spirit that is laid back and optimistic. Take that concept and apply it to how you view your work life and we start moving in a direction that is healthier and more productive.
According to Wikipedia, work-life balance is the concept that an individual needs to balance time allocated for work and other aspects of life. Areas of life other than work-life can be, but not limited to personal interests, family and social or leisure activities.
We talk about the different areas that impact work and personal life from our experiences, and we also look at general trends in the U.S.
If you didn’t know, there are studies that look into high level trends in the workplace. We looked at Gallup’s State of the American Workplace 2017, and according to that study, 53 percent of employees say that it is “very important” for them to have a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance and better personal well-being. While that may sound like a good stat, you have to wonder, why don’t more people value better balance?
We answer that question throughout this episode and come to the conclusion that a piece of it is due to generational differences. Generations that came prior to the millennial workforce, came up the ranks and worked in environments where long work hours were the norm. Priorities have shifted and the younger generations are looking for more balance and shifting how they think about work and life.
Below are some of the areas we discuss. We give tips to those that feel like navigating a well balanced life and career is difficult to pursue in practice.
- Kids v. No Kids: parents aren’t the only people that need flexible working arrangements. Those of us without kids want it too!
- Leaving Vacation on the table (AKA why aren’t you going on vacation?!?!): Project Time-Off’s 2017 Under-Vacationed America Report found that 54 percent of Americans did not use all their vacation time- 662 million vacation days went unused. As active workforce members, it is up to us to place the intended value on vacation time and take vacation. Those that don’t prioritize taking vacation are contributing to work cultures where work supersedes time off.
- Dads are entitled to Paternity leave: Regardless of how dads were classified (as “egalitarian, divided or traditional” in their parenting role) in the 2017 Boston College Center for Work & Family’s Study: The New Dad: The Career-Caregiving Conflict, researchers found that ALL working dads want more time with their children. And that is across all generations, from Millennials to Gen X to Baby Boomers.
- The Millennials Workforce: the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that 82 percent of those taking the survey expressed a positive impact on overall wellbeing, health and happiness, and an 81 percent impact on their productivity when their employer fosters an environment of flexibility.
Want more reading material?