PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: Is Work-Life Balance a Lie?
This week, the question on everyone’s mind was, can working at Amazon really be as bad as the New York Times article made it out to be – and beyond that, do employers have a responsibility to create work-life balance? PayScale’s latest blog roundup looks at whether it’s possible to be dedicated to work and family, plus 65 businesses you can start to help you escape the rat race, and 15 things you can do to be happier at work right now.
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“We have known for years that there’s no such thing as work-life balance,” writes Trunk. “You can do both at a mediocre level. You can do one poorly and one well. Or you can do an outstanding job at one and not do the other at all. (Please, I’m sure someone will say in the comments it’s possible to do both well. This is not true, because it’s relative since you don’t live in a black hole, and if you’re trying to do both well there is someone who is giving up doing one of those things well in order to focus.)”
Trunk’s solution? Companies should be fair, not nice, tell employees what they expect, and enforce it equally for executives and workers. Workers, on the other hand, should know that they can’t do it all, and be willing to walk away when they need to.
It’s a cure that presumes a certain amount of privilege – there are no coal miners or fast food workers who can float in and out of their careers as they choose. Still, it’s an interesting approach to the problem of work-life balance at tech companies: admit there’s no such thing, and make a choice.
Do you secretly crave an entrepreneurial lifestyle, complete with the opportunity to make money by your wits … and never ever have to process another TPS report as long as you live? If so, you’re probably plagued by the problem facing most would-be entrepreneurs: building a business takes time, and when you’re working for the Man, time is exactly what you don’t have.
“The question I’m asked the most (by far) when I meet and speak with fellow entrepreneurs is, ‘How do I know which business I should start?’ This one is always quickly followed by, ‘How do I start it while I’m still working my full-time job?'” writes entrepreneur Ryan Robinson. “This makes perfect sense. With how many businesses already exist out in the world, it can be difficult to come up with the right idea you should be spending your time on.”
Robinson’s list of 65 business ideas, which encompasses everything from wedding photographer to greeting card writer to Uber driver, is a great place to start – no matter what you do for a day job, or where your aspirations lie.
“The key to happiness at your job isn’t about the big stuff — it’s all in the details,” Bryan and Leta write. “Whether it’s finding the perfect desk plant, eating a delicious snack or doling out a few well-deserved compliments, you’d be surprised how fast the little things can turn your day around.”
Their advice, which includes everything from taking a walk to doling out compliments to your co-workers, might not be anything you haven’t heard before, but compiled in one place, it’s a good reminder of how small changes can make a big difference – even when you’re relatively powerless over the big stuff that’s going on around the office.
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