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4 Con and 4 Pro Arguments On Work Life Balance

4 Con and 4 Pro Arguments On Work Life Balance

If you browse through the internet reading about the topic “Work Life Balance” you’re in for a ride! So far, it always seemed that finding a good balance between your daily work and the time you spend with family, friends or just yourself is what we all should strive to achieve.

But already the first page of your search results will turn that idea upside down and back again! The only balance you’ll find is the amount of pro and con articles about this topic. So, what’s the deal? Here are 4 arguments against and 4 arguments in favor of the work live balance theory.

Con-Argument: Life Work Balance? Totally outdated!

If you read articles like the one from Conor Neill’s on lifehack, you will find yourself totally agreeing with the facts and ideas he presents.

1. We are never in balance

Conor Neill states that we are never balanced out when we put one foot in front of the other. Or at least just a tiny bit during the process. Conor even takes it a step further and calls the whole concept of a balance between work and free time outright stupid! He explains this theory by focusing on humans and the way we move: “Triangles are naturally in balance, humans are not.”

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2. If we would reach the perfect life work balance, we would be unhappy

Conor Neill’s reason for this is because that would be the end of the road. And humans are not made to stand still. We need to explore, develop new ideas, and make things better!

3. The constant search for the perfect life-work-balance is a very frustrating endeavor

Connor Neill explains that something in balance will never feel steady and safe. A strong fundament and stable wings are what we all need. His message, “Build your fundament and trust your wings!” is good, valuable, and solid. But somehow his entire argumentation feels a bit off topic.

Author Meghan M. Biro takes it even a notch further and tells us to kill the life work balance myth! Reading her article on Forbes, you might find yourself in total agreement.

4. The idea of maintaining a life work balance is “simply not a functional concept”

Meghan M. Biro rightfully talks about leaders, who achieved tremendous things, build up multi-billion dollar companies and created an impact on how we live today. She states that modern companies change the working environment to a work-living environment and that this very productive structure defines the way our first-world society will move ahead. Work life balance? According to Meghan M. Biro “We’re already past that”. So, let us all become leaders, live to work, and change the world! Right?

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Pro-argument: Without a good work-life-balance you’re doomed!

Let’s look at the other side of the argumentation. Just like on the con-side, you’ll find numerous articles that will bombard you with all the amazing advantages a good work life balance holds in store for you.

One of the most striking arguments for maintaining an equal amount of free time in reference to your working hours is actually quite simple: “If you don’t balance work with the rest of your life, you’ll miss it.” But that is just the essence of the whole pro-argumentation. Here are four of many points, which speak for a well-balanced scale between work and free time:

1. Money does not make you happier!

Although we have all heard that argument at least a thousand times before, it is still not very convincing. But then again … earning a bag full of cash every month by working like a maniac, but with no time, no friends, and no hobby to spend it on, does seem a bit silly.

2. More free time means more social interactions.

The human being is a herd animal. And a very romantic one on top! We need our social time with others, may it be our partner, friends or family.

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3. Free time makes room for creativity!

And thus, your work and you career will also benefit from a healthy work life balance.

4. Your health will thank you

Compared to a work-life-balance, a so called “burn out” is not a myth! What good will all that hard-earned cash do you, if you need to spend it on medical bills?

The Conclusion to the Work Life Balance Argument

Is unsatisfying! Why? Because everyone has a different point of view.

Career orientated people will tell you that the concept of balancing work and life is outdated. Work and life are becoming one thing. Mobile devices enable you to work from anywhere at any time. Companies are beginning to adjust their job structures and the working environment accordingly. Some people love what they are doing! They become one with the task at hand, find their true purpose and excel in their career. And that is just great!

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For others, a good work life balance is working a few hours from their home office and then going for a walk with the dog, fetch some of the home-grown veggies for lunch from the garden and then maybe work some more. Not the huge amount of cash is relevant but the quality time they spend with their loved ones and doing the things they really enjoy doing.

It is a fact though, that most people living on our planet do not have the choice between a highly-paid career and an easy-going home office job. And an estimated 95% of these people do not have the luxury of trying to balance work and life. For them, life and work are what they are.

Featured photo credit: Isaac Viglione via unsplash.com

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Olivia Taylor

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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