What's really missing?

How often do you procrastinate tasks at work and find yourself looking at the clock, waiting for the workday to be over?  At the same time you feel stressed and are not sure how to keep up with all the projects and deadlines that are piling up.  You can’t wait for the weekend to come or for the next vacation. You feel like your work and life are quite out of balance. You’re not alone.  More than 50% of employees in the US are dissatisfied with their current job and list a lacking work-life balance as the highest contributing factor. This topic often comes up when talking to my clients and peers. Once we dig deeper into this issue and what work-life balance really means to them, something interesting happens. Often, it’s not the amount of time that they’re spending at work, rather it is how much their values are respected and aligned with their organization’s vision. The people I talked to have something in common, they are high achievers, motivated and hard working, yet they strive for something more. They often think that the primary solution to their imbalance is to have less responsibility and more time for themselves. Granted, time for family and self-care is often hard to achieve, however, our conversations often reveal that there is a disconnect in their values (freedom, flexibility,…).

How do you know whether your organization and job is a good fit or not? What I’ve seen happening repeatedly is that people who are engaged in their job still have energy at the end of the workday and thus are able to be present with their environment around them. They have the energy to work out, go out for dinner, meet friends, have fun with the family, to name a few. 

Of course, this is not a black and white situation. Just because you find yourself exhausted after a long workday in a job that you love, doesn’t mean that your values are not aligned. It’s an overall symptom that, over time, manifests itself in either feeling tired, stressed and maybe even burned out. This is very different from going through the natural cycle of rising and falling energy levels that every worker experiences.

Have you been asking yourself on how to implement a better work-life balance? What does your organization do to keep employees engaged and motivated? How do you as an employee show up at work and how do you know that your values are truly aligned with your company’s goals? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.