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Lifestyle Lounge: Having a work/life balance

international day_families_01_06_12Lorna Hunte is a freelance lifestyle writer/blogger who is married with one child. She strongly believes that knowledge is power across all cultures and enjoys sharing information that empowers people to either change their attitude or learn to live with it. This month she wonders why there’s a need for an International Day of Families.

Who would have thought it necessary or indeed rightful to formulate an International Day of Families? Is society changing so much socially that they are drifting away from the basic symbolism of life?

Families are the fundamental pillars of society but with today’s modern lifestyle, spending quality time with families is becoming more and more difficult. Endorsed by the United Nations, this year’s theme for International Day of Families (which happened on 15 May) is ‘ensuring work/life balance’ in recognition that demographic and socio-economic trends are having a critical impact on work and family life. Caring for families and working at the same time is proving more and more challenging for parents.

According to the United Nations, 53% of women are in the work-force with over half mothers across the the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries before their child reaches three years old. Added to this, modern families face extended multiple obligations such as caring for older relatives and family members with disabilities. So is it possible to obtain the perfect work/life balance?

Work/life balance lies at the centre of the proficiency of the family to provide emotionally and economically for its members. A variety of strategies to help families cope with work and family responsibilities is being employed around the world. A noticeable rise in family friendly work places that offer more flexible working opportunities such as flexi-time, working from home, part-time or working time adjusted to school time tables with or without loss of pay. Would you be willing to forfeit a portion of your salary for quality time with your family? What’s happening around the world?

Stacy Parker, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Randstad Canada says: ‘Technology has merged our working and personal lives, creating a more unified experience. It has redefined the traditional workplace as we know it. Employees are working at home, shopping at work, attending school at home, connecting to training webinars at work and learning new job skills from their children and grandchildren. No generation has ever been this connected, and for good and bad, there is a fusion going on between home and work. We don’t stop living when we go to work and, very often today, we don’t stop working when we arrive home. Today’s workers have many competing responsibilities: work, children, housework, volunteering, and so on. Balancing all of these things can be stressful.’ Source: Randstad Canada: www.randstad.com/press-room/research-reports

The face of our world is changing. The 21st century has developed its own set of principles and its own mega trends: globalization, up-and-coming markets, digitalisation, new generations of employees, an ageing society and new set ups of conventional roles of women and men – all with positive or negative effects on the family unit as we know it. As individuals though we can embrace change but not to the detriment of what will help us get the correct balance between work and family life.

‘Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!’  – Albert Einstein.
 


More about the author

Lorna Hunte is a freelance lifestyle writer/blogger who is married with one child. She strongly believes that knowledge is power across all cultures and enjoys sharing information that empowers people to either change their attitude or learn to live with it. Every month Lorna will scan the world and share her thoughts and experiences of aspects that affect the day to day lifestyle of women worldwide. You can find her on Twitter @LornaHuntePR.

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Picture credit: Shutterstock

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