Work life balance denounced

What a rotten idea, work life balance. It causes far more imbalance than anything else. As with all the fashions that organisations get drawn into like a new religion, it soon loses any sign of sense. At the extreme it can become positively damaging.

But how, you say, can something which is so clearly targeted at the wellbeing of employees cause harm?

Like this:

Firstly, it presumes that the choice is work or life. Be at work or be alive. Oh great. Job opportunities for zombies. I object strongly to the inference that life is something that only happens outside of work. Do we have to stop working in order to enjoy ourselves?

Secondly, work life balance lowers expectations and flattens ambition. Work is good enough if it provides for you well enough. It doesn’t need to be fulfilling or engaging. I have come across a depressing number of people, at the stage when traditionally they would be very career-conscious, instead sitting back on their heels. They have swallowed the work life balance mantra whole, and see work simply as a cash machine buying them the time to live, live, live.

Nobody in their right mind would argue against the importance of a rounded life that nourishes and sustains us. Work is integral to that rounded life, though, and not just the feeder for it.

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