Last October I was ready to pilot a two day work life balance program. We all know what happened to the economy around that time and let’s just say the timing wasn’t exactly right for employers to really care if their employees were feeling balanced.
A year later the tide has changed a bit, after layoffs, doing more with less and general fatigue employees need help to recharge and many employers now realize work life balance is a productivity issue as much as it is a social responsibility.
I didn’t give up on the program when the pilots were postponed – I changed directions. I decided maybe what I was working on might be a good book – so I began talking to people, hearing story after story from men and women struggling with how to fit it all in, I researched, read and researched some more and I realized the original pilot wasn’t what the market needed.
What I had created was more like a luxury car when the market really only needed a mid size sedan. So I edited, researched some more and went through draft after draft of workshop content – then in November, I officially launched a four hour Work Life Balance workshop.
The goal of the workshop is to empower people to take accountability for their part in the work life balance equation. It is full of dialog and activities and contains 20 things people can do to bring their actions in alignment with their values.
I was fortunate enough to deliver the workshop two times to fortune 500 company and to a group of what I’d call professional self improvement seminar goers – all three ending in rave reviews and an appetite for more – more information, more dialog, more in their lives of the participants than they are currently living.
It is clear to me that for now my part is to help plant the seeds that more is possible and available to everyone. I do not have all the answers to how to have work life balance – but after two years noodleling on this topic- I can say I’m getting really good learning the questions that need to be asked, understanding people’s experiences and tying it together in a way that makes sense for people. So armed with questions, and an abundance of real world stories, I’m ready to plant as many seeds as I can in 2010.