The Issue With "Work-Life Balance"

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The Issue With Work-Life Balance

If you have ever heard our “Circle Story,” you know that we talk about our belief that work-life balance doesn’t exist. We also don’t believe it is a healthy state to try and achieve. And it seems that sociologist Tracy Brower agrees with us.

In a recent article in Fast Company, We need to stop striving for work-life balance. Here’s why, she agrees that we have a “work-life problem” but she argues “that the concept of balance has never been helpful, because it’s too limiting.”

Her 3 reasons for why “balance” isn’t the right word to use:

  1. Work-life balance artificially separates work and life.
    It’s hard to connect meaning and purpose in your work when you separate work and life. When you think holistically about work, life (and leadership) - you can see how each supports the other.

  2. Work-life balance suggests a precariousness that isn’t helpful.
    Brower says “Losing your balance and falling isn’t pleasant. …it’s more useful to think of life as an always evolving and changing from day-to-day or year-to-year, rather than a high-risk enterprise where things could go wrong with one misstep.” As we say, our lives our dynamic and ever evolving - sometimes business takes the forefront, another time life does.

  3. Work-life balance suggests a precariousness that isn’t helpful.
    ”Balance is a limiting concept, and if we set the bar too low, we won’t demand enough of ourselves, our leaders, and our companies.” says Brower. There shouldn’t be an either/or here and we need to create work environments that support the ebb and flow of business, leadership and life.

Our goal is to help you bring your whole-self to all that you do. That means recognizing that it is about getting all those circles moving forward towards the life you want - not in sync - but together.

Brower seems to agree, she urges us to “think bigger and better about work-life fulfillment to do a little less balancing and a lot more living.”

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