The work-life balance is the new myth of the millennium. Leaders are very concerned with finding the correct work-life balance. To achieve this balance, I am looking for a solution to work smarter than harder.
But is it really so? I mean, are managers really more interested in working less, but smarter? And, above all, is this how they train and judge their collaborators? Every year a new book appears with the secrets (?) To live a life that balances work, family and free time. And, of course, thousands of copies are sold. But isn't it enough to use good old common sense to find the right balance in our life?
Let's face it, being able to tell friends and acquaintances that you don't even have a breather because of work gives us an inexplicable (how stupid) pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. We feel we have arrived. We seek a balance, but in reality we are pleased not to have found it. How can this contradiction be explained? With our stupid culture of time saturation vs productivity. Our culture, in spite of all that is said and written, rewards the exhausted and those who work hard. We do not pause too much to distinguish being busy from being productive, because we would be forced to make a judgment of quality and not quantity and this is clearly more tiring and dangerous. We reward those who go “above and beyond” (above and beyonde) in terms of the amount of work. The result? What is rewarded is replicated, so it does not come out.
We think of women who do not want to give up motherhood, but who, at the same time, also want to be fulfilled at work, how can they compete if not in terms of quality? It is clear that they are at a disadvantage compared to their colleagues, who can wear themselves out in working days of 12 hours or more. It is also obvious that males also gain in terms of visibility, and therefore career.
But the industrious bee syndrome also has devastating effects on the physical level: high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, depression and anxiety. So what can be done? Do we continue to read books by sorcerers and gurus who explain the secrets of a happy existence or, more simply, do we begin to change that silly and suicidal culture of quantity vs quality?
It is the leaders who must begin to change the corporate culture. It is they who must lead by example and who must encourage their collaborators not to measure others and themselves in terms of hours / work, but in terms of results. The myth of the office light turned on late must be definitively abandoned. A rational leader does not go mad, foolishly, in search of a balance between work and private life, but learns (and teaches) to optimize his time, working on his productive capacity. All of this will make everyone happy, including your co-workers and loved ones.