Work – Life Balance – Part 1

Work – Life Balance – Part 1

I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early”   Charles Lamb

While this quote is meant to be funny, there is a serious side to it.

In this two-part series, I’d like to talk about work-life balance.

Achieving and maintaining a work-life balance seems to be the Holly Grail for the modern-day worker and in many cases, not looked on favourably by employers

And yes, there are companies today that have actively and successfully promoted a work-life balance in their business, however, these are far and few in between.

Thanks to the internet, smart phones and the numerous communication apps that exist, we are now connected and tethered to each other and our work in real-time and 24/7.

This means we are not only contactable anytime/anywhere, we can also be productive anytime/anywhere.

So why is that coming in early to the office and staying late has become such a fixation for many?

Because in the eyes of many employers – Presence is Performance!

In other words, the perception (from employers) is that If you’re at the office for the majority of your working day, then you must be performing – even if you sit and browse the internet for most of the day!

There was a study conducted by the University of Washington into worker conscientiousness and performance.

In essence, it found that supervisors perceive employees that start later in the day as less conscientious.

These perceptions in turn cause supervisors to rate employees as lower performers, even if they worked the same number of hours.

Freelancing, contracting and casual wok has taken on a new form.

People who used to be full-time employees have now turned to providing their services to an out-sourced model.

The Philippines has established it self as a successful hub for outsourcing administration-based tasks such as payroll.

Companies are outsourcing their digital service requirements to freelancers – website development, internet marketing, content development etc.

So, do the companies who outsource services care about how often their service provider is ‘in the office’?


What they care about is the deliverable – did they get what they asked for, on time and was the quality what they expected.  If yes, then job done.

And recently a New Zealand based company, Perpetual Guardian, took it one step further by trialling the 4-day work week – giving their employees a 3-day weekend.

The trial was so successful, that the company now wants to make the change permanent.

Here’s the bottom line, if you are a business owner, manager, leader – be clear on what you expect from your employees.

State clearly and without ambiguity, the deliverables – what you expect from your employees.

Then communicate these deliverables clearly and make sure the employee understands and acknowledges this.

Then let them get on with the job.

Yes, there will be times when some extra work hours will be needed and there will be times when the employee needs to leave early to be home for a courier delivery.

The more collaborative you are as an employer, the better the outcome for all.

And guess what – in a collaborative environment, work-life balance starts to sort itself out.

Contact us today on 02 9634 5912 if you’d like us to help you with any of your recruitment requirements.