Preserving work-family balance
“IF we die today, the company will replace us tomorrow. But to our family, we’re gone forever.” Someone once told me this and it has stuck with me forever. It reminds me to know when to work and when to play.
We must take both seriously. When we work, we work hard and smart. When we play, we also play hard and smart. Work-family balance must be preserved no matter what. Therefore, learn to play smartly so it wouldn’t cost us too much time, energy and money.
The simplest definition of work-family balance is the balance between working to earn a living and spending quality time with the family. A technologically-advanced society such as ours enables us to enjoy many conveniences. This allows us more time to spend on personal matters. Emails, washing machines and mobile phones have one thing in common — they were created to make our lives easier.
While some gadgets have done their jobs well, many make our lives more complicated. It seems that the more technology we have available, the less time we have. With emails come the need for faster replies. With mobile phones come the need to answer work calls even after office hours or on weekends. These gadgets have swayed the work-family balance towards work.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
I’ve received numerous emails with the following message: If we die today, the company can and will replace us tomorrow. But to our family, we’re gone forever. When people are on their death bed, their final wish is not that they’d put in more time at the workplace. What tends to happen is that they regret the time they didn’t spend with their family.
I thank the person who took the time to forward this message to me. Although it might sound rather dramatic, the message does put the purpose of life into perspective. I recall forwarding this email to a friend who was on annual leave but still decided to go to work. After reading it, he replied saying that he was on his way home to rest and spend time with his family instead!
There’s no one formula that fits all. It’s up to the family to decide what works best, given their unique schedules and routines. However, in general, work should be left where they belong — at the office, at the shop, on the field or in the farm. It must never be allowed to interfere with family time. Only then will you have uninterrupted family time and achieve work-family balance.
One of the best ways to spend time with your family is to have a host of activities that are not only fun but memorable. You can buy fancy stuff, but it may break down or lose its novelty after some time.
However, memorable moments last a lifetime. I’m sure that you’ve experienced moments when you found yourself smiling thinking about the happy times you spent together with your family. Those, my friends, are the priceless moments.
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