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  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , work-life balance   

    If You Spend Much More Time at Work Than With Your Partner, Why Not Measure Your Job Compatibility? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    These holidays have given me two good discoveries that have something in common. While the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty winks at the search for love through an online dating website, in the journal Vueling one can find an employment portal that provides information about compatibility with companies and coworkers.

    The tendency to study happiness

    What seemed to me to be the most curious is not the simple self-knowledge test that is based on this website, rather the premise about what turns around its functionalities: an employee will be more happy when they fit in more with the culture at work, something that they already spoke of, among others, Dawis&Lofquist in 1984 with their theory of labor force adjustment.

    HR specialists and vocational counseling take into account not only the requirements of a job when it comes to finding the perfect job or employee, but also the values and work preferences. Here is the bottom line of the question from Good.co: analyze those more relational aspects and those questions that are not asked more deeply in a job interview. It’s something strange when work ends up being an important pillar in our lives, don’t you think? Well, either by narcissism, or getting distracted for a while or real interest for your professional career, from April 2013- 60,000 people have registered on this platform. (More …)

  • Joan Alvares 10:46 am on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commitment, , work-life balance   

    The world needs more pigs… (by Joan Alvares*) 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    The difference between work and commitment? Eggs with bacon: The hen works, but the pig commits. It’s one of the most graphic quotes I know about looking for people for a company or project. People who, beyond their desire to reach X salary or Y position, aspire to have fun. If you’re still not one of those who enjoy working, maybe you should think about changing jobs. I know it’s very easy to say that, so here’s three reasons why you should do it:

    1. You’re going to spend a third of your life working. It’s important to remember that before dedicating your time doing a work that doesn’t fulfil you or creating your own company in something that doesn’t interest you just because you think it’s going to make you lots of money. A job isn’t something to suffer through or put up with; it’s an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Money isn’t enough when you stop working to live and live to work. How many people have worked eleven months of the year, longing for that other month when they can escape, often spending all the money they have saved during the year?

    2. Working gives you self-respect… especially if you have fun doing it. There are those that think having fun at work is just a myth only for the select few, like actors and soccer players, those lucky few who are paid a fortune to do what they love and who, when they are replaced—or when their coach or manager insist they stop working—they go off unhappily to sit on the bench. I’ve met from designers to engineers, shoemakers to chefs who enjoy their work. Not all were excellent professionals nor millionaires, but I’m sure that, unlike many people, their face changed on Sunday night.

    3. You can’t be excellent at something you dont enjoy. The world is filled with good professionals, but we need more excellent professionals. People who fight day by day to improve in an attempt to make a difference in everything they do. Seeing success not as a summit to scale, but a journey to follow. Sticking with the soccer imagery, the best example of this is Messi: true, he enjoys soccer because he’s an excellent player, but undoubtedly he’s an excellent player because he enjoys soccer. We could mention a great many geniuses: from Ferran Adrià to Martin Scorsese. All have one thing in common apart from their talent: their passion for their job

    As Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

    *Joan Alvares is founding partner Poko and lecturer at Istituto Europeo di Design.

  • Mertxe Pasamontes 11:00 am on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , work-life balance   

    Work-life balance? Or just work? 

    Estimated reading time: 2.5 minutes

    Now that we are back from our mini-holiday, it is a good time (as good a time as any but we have it fresh in our minds after the break), to ask ourselves if we are really reconciling our work and family life or if we are living in order to work. It is true that in most cases the working hours are imposed by the company you work for rather than being of your own choice.  Nonetheless, all of that extra time you work (and as a consequence deduct from your personal life) will not be given back to you by any means.

    In theory many large companies have work-life balance policies (there is allsorts in the smaller ones but less personnel sometimes prevents it from being possible), but we all know that some of these are not complied with.  Those policies are there and nobody is going to ask you specifically to stay behind past your working hours but you know that because of the company culture and due to the general daily atmosphere that you simply have to.

    Fortunately in some places there is a start towards combining attendance with telework taking some of the pressure off the employee.  Tools such as Zyncro, or other similar ones provide a way in which to work from a distance as well as allowing you to keep up to date with what is going on.  There are however many jobs in which this is not possible as they require attendance, overall this is found in the services sector.

    The main problem is that longer hours do not result in an increased or better productivity. Giving your team unattainable objectives does not mean it will be more motivated.  People have a limit as to their productivity and when this boundary is crossed, the only thing that is achieved is a lesser result than could have been attained without that pressure.  In fact, Spain is known for being one of the least productive countries in the EU.  The real culprit of this is not the work-life balance, it is the lack of it.  If you consider your “employee” as a “human resource”, you may think it does not matter if they are worn down, they can always be replaced, but this is not as true as may seem.  Settling in to a new company, understanding how it works and developing your potential within it require a certain amount of time.  Replacing somebody has a higher cost than just the economical.  But in order for this new mentality to take off, many organisations must be changed, those that are more fossilized and stuck in their 20th century (or 21st) models than they would like to admit.  In this way, many start-up type companies are at an advantage as they have been born with this new philosophy.

    So if you your company does not allow you to balance your work and family life, you can always look for another.   Or begin your path towards entrepreneurship or become a freelancer.  After all, it is not work we are talking about if not your life.

    Are you able to achieve a work-life balance at your company?  What options will you think about if it is not a possibility?

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