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Stop Chasing Work-Life Balance

I remember reading articles and talking to coworkers 15 years ago about having the right “work-life balance.” In a nutshell, the “work-life balance” of yesteryear was rooted in knowing when to stop concentrating on work so that you don’t miss life’s special moments, which kept things in perspective. Some of us did this better than others, but there was always that feeling that I should be the first in the office and the last to leave. Face-time mattered back then.

model-s-photo-gallery-10I don’t hear as much about work-life balance as I used to. Why not? I have a theory. I believe it’s not that people don’t value their downtime to attend their kids’ dance recitals or soccer games. Our employees have always valued this. Rather, I think that work-life balance has been replaced with “work-life integration.” That is…never turning work off. I know that it doesn’t sound very healthy or appealing, but maybe the best solution is for us all to “work to live” rather than “live to work.” Let me explain.

With advances in technology, many of our offices are not as valuable as once before. The brick-and-mortar location you have invested heavily in no longer houses your complete collection of talent from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Your team is likely spread out instead. Does this mean they are less committed if they decide to go for a run at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday? I don’t think so. That time can be made up later and your employees will appreciate the flexibility more than ever. For many small business owners, adopting this mentality has been a competitive advantage for recruiting prime talent. Most larger companies have been slow to understand this, or are scared to.

In this issue, we’ll introduce you to 40 of the most talented students we have in Jacksonville. They are smart, accomplished and hungry to make their mark. Smart employers will recognize that they are also mothers and fathers, and that they have passions and hobbies like the rest of us. Embrace those and unlock the full potential of any employee…and yourself.