The Work-Life Wars: Is Balance the Answer?

After decades of promoting work-life balance, stress and burnout are still rampant, if not growing, in our organizations. Have our efforts to create work-life balance failed?

In this episode, Cathy talks about how our ways of thinking about work-life balance and quality time, which came into widespread use in the 1980’s, not only failed to fix the problem, but in many ways, made it worse. She explores:

  • The central problem with how most of us think about the struggle between work and personal life and the debilitating stress it creates.
  • How our well-meaning advice on solving the work-life balance issue has actually exacerbated the problem.
  • Her own experience with burnout, her process of recovery, and what she needed to unlearn to begin to forge a healthy relationship with work.
  • A shift in perspective and a way forward for leaders that puts the responsibility for the problem where it belongs – within a complex relationship between the individual, the culture, and the organizations in which they work.
  • Finally, she proposes that as we debate the future of work and what it will look like, we need to put personal and collective well-being at the center of the conversation.

You can find an adapted transcript of this episode on my blog, Field Notes.

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    Cathy Jacob

    I'm Cathy Jacob. I am a writer, coach and co-founder of Fire Inside Leadership. After two decades of coaching leaders on how to inspire while navigating the challenges of demanding careers and lives, I’ve created this site to share the best of what I’ve learned from my courageous clients and leaders in the fields of psychology, leadership, philosophy and neuroscience on what it takes to live an inspired life.

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