In my early morning reading I came across this March 5 post in the Careerist blog about workaholics. I think most of us who have our own businesses are at least inclined to be workaholics. I have also discovered that many of our clients would also be in that category. E-mails come in from the wee hours of the morning to very late at night. So many of us are working so many hours.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
According to The Careerist, it depends. And I think she is right – at least at some points in life. The Careerist quotes Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic from an article in the Harvard Business Review blog:
If you are lucky enough to have a career – as opposed to a job – then you should embrace the work/life imbalance. A career provides a higher sense of purpose; a job provides an income. A job pays for what you do; a career pays for what you love…If you are having fun working, you will almost certainly keep working. Your career success depends on eliminating the division between work and play. Who cares about work/life balance when you can have work/life fusion?
I do feel lucky to have work/life fusion. But even though I loved my work just as much 3 years ago, I was not as “happy” during the extended hours of work. Back then my daughter was home and I wanted to be with her in a way that made the long hours feel like I was missing out on something really important. It was not easy to eliminate the division between work and play. But I loved my work just as much and I experienced success during that time as well. It was harder then, but it made me realize how important both aspects of my life were to me.
As an employer, I think it is important to recognize that work/life issues are different for everyone and that they change over time. With my daughter in college, it is much easier to relax into long hours doing work I find interesting and about which I am passionate. Employees with younger children are able to be passionate and hard-working while they are here because we recognize that they do have other things going on that are also important.
As a small business I can offer flexibility that allows people to work hard when they can without feeling conflicted about it, but yet encourage them to be completely away from work when they are with their family. Work hard while you are here, be here as long as passion for the work trumps outside demands, and then when you leave here or turn off the computer at home, let it go. Completely. Come back refreshed tomorrow. Come back passionate tomorrow.
I have amazing employees. They work hard at their jobs and they do a great job for our clients. Those clients reap the benefit of a great group of people who work really hard. The blog reminded me of my passion for this work. It also reminded me of my deep appreciation for everyone who works with me here; whether they are struggling for work/life balance or feel the same fusion I do with work/play. It is a great way to start the day.