Working to live vs. living to work

Is your colleague’s work-life balance becoming your work-life overload?

Companies that embrace flexible working hours attract many Americans, especially those with children. However, mothers and fathers that have to leave work early for the sake of their kids are not the only ones juggling responsibilities – their childless co-workers are then expected to pick up the slack.

“My kids have swim class that starts at 5pm,” says Aziz Gilani, a director at DFJ Mercury, a Houston based venture capital firm. “I’m sure my partners are expecting me to be in my office and my office is empty because I’m doing one of the parental commitments. I’m sure it creates a burden for them.” Although Gilani says it has never caused major issues in his firm, this begs the question, “Who gets the work-life balance higher ground?” Is it the mother with three children, the son taking his parent to chemotherapy or the new hire that is taking Mandarin lessons once a week?

Click here to read more about this ongoing debate and to see what some experts say are the best ways to implement flexible strategies to benefit everyone.


Increase productivity with your thermostat

Great workplaces aren’t just the product of free lunches, unlimited sick days, and strong diversity initiatives. A productive office life can start with something as simple as the thermostat. Cornell University researchers conducted a study that showed when temperatures in an office were low (68 degrees), employees made 68% more errors and were less productive than when the temperature was a warm 77 degrees. This notion that temperature effects efficiency also translates to interpersonal warmth. Psychologists argue that when people feel cold physically they’re also likely to perceive their co-workers as less generous and less caring. Click here to see why the cold not only deteriorates productivity, but freezes the quality of working relationships.


Top talent is most likely to be mobile  

Recent exit interview surveys show that a high number of young high performers are leaving their jobs within the first 28 months. Most would assume it’s because of salary, but Beth N. Carver, a consultant who has spent 12 years researching exit interviews, found that the main reasons young talent leave is due to the lack of training opportunities and mentorship. Furthermore, with the aid of social media, they don’t need to work hard at finding endless job opportunities that will offer the type of environment where their learning is fostered. Click here to see what this generation of young achievers want and expect from work and what employers need to do to keep them.


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