The work-life balance myth

 
My motto is you can’t spell “wHo caRes” without HR.
— Catbert - Evil Hr Director

There has been much written and discussed (one could say spewed) about organisations trying to help their employees attain the mystical nirvana of work-life balance. In truth, the vast majority of organisations simply pay lip service to work-life balance. There is the odd exception, but, when all is said and done, it is money and “the bottom line” that matters most and not your life, children or pets.

The system in which we live would like you to believe that it has your best interests at heart. That we have a relationship with our employer that is similar, in concept, to marriage where we each look out for the other. The reality is that the system is completely self-interested and your marriage partner will chuck you over the second they don’t need you.

You don’t need to look hard to find ample evidence of this. Been made redundant? Restructured? Downsized? Rightsized? Had to reapply for your own job? If you haven’t, I’ll bet you know many people who have.


Thanks to Scott Adams for helping us see reality . . .

Thanks to Scott Adams for helping us see reality . . .

They say language matters and it does. The title ‘human resources’ is absolutely correct. Humans are seen as resources, just like coal and paperclips, for the organisation to use for its own ends. The recent move to re-brand HR to “people and culture” or “people and development” is simply to make what they do more palatable – helping organisations squeeze people into outputs, outcomes and profits. Strangely, themselves included.

This blog started off as a reflection on work-life balance but has become an indictment on the current neoliberal system that dominates this area of life we call work. If you want a work-life balance then you need to find it yourself. I have worked for myself for two decades which has allowed me to prioritise life ahead of work but at times it has been a struggle financially.

If you ask me . . . Was it worth it? Absolutely!


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