International Day of Families: Balancing work and life


Work / life balanceToday, May 15, is International Day of Families.

This annual event was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993. It’s a day for reflecting on the importance of family and for raising awareness of issues affecting families across the globe.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Families is “Ensuring work family balance.”

Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is one of the major challenges of modern life. We may work longer or shorter hours than our ancestors, but we live further away from family who are traditionally our key support network.

We constantly strive to succeed in our careers, but with the world becoming smaller and more digital, we are always online and always connected so that we can stay on top of our ever-increasing workloads.

According to AOL’s 4th annual ‘Email Addiction’ survey, 62% of people check work email on weekends.

How can we ensure that we reach a healthy balance of personal life and work?

In this article from Forbes, the author suggests prioritizing and focusing on what’s personally important. People talk about the idea of a personal audit, how we each spend our time.

It’s about asking ourselves the hard-hitting questions, such as, whether we do focus on what’s important in our lives. Are you ensuring you’re doing everything you can to make the people in your life happy? Do you spend enough time with your family? If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy with how you lived today?

In his message for International Day of Families UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states:

We need to respond to the ever-changing complexities of work and family life.  I welcome the establishment of family-friendly workplaces through parental leave provisions, flexible working arrangements and better childcare.

Such policies and programs are critical to enhancing the work-family balance.  These actions can also lead to better working conditions, greater employee health and productivity, and a more concerted focus on gender equality.

In the modern world, it’s vital for our well-being to take stock, and ensure we’re not forgetting to live our lives. Take a minute today to focus on what’s important to you, and how you can make your work/life balance better. This will not only make you happier, but will probably make you a more productive employee.

If Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg can leave work every day at 5.30pm to have dinner with her children, maybe you can, too.

How are you trying to achieve a balance between your professional life and your family life?

Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter. We’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions.

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  • LadyHarkin

    May 15, 2012

    Depends who you work for some firms are no longer interested in family only making money and surviving a recession