Life is a Balancing Act

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balancingIn September 2009 the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that California had an unemployment rate of 12.9%.  In the current economy should the employee of a rape crisis center be complaining about having too much work to do, having to work on weekends and late evening hours and not having enough support from management?  In the current economy should an Executive Director or Manager of a rape crisis center be concerned that their employee has too much work to do , works late evening hours and on weekends and has an increased level of stress?  

Work is important to one’s livelihood and not the sole part of why they exist and who they are.  Finding a work life balance can be difficult to achieve but once it is accomplished; there are numerous benefits for person and business.

The term work life balance  is somewhat misleading; this term does not refer to an equal number of hours worked in comparison to an equal number of hours of leisure and relaxation or personal time.  The Work Life Foundation states that work life balance

“is about people having a measure of control over when, where, and how they work.  It is achieved when an individuals right to fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the mutual benefit of the individual, business and society”

Below is a short list of ideas that management can contemplate doing to promote an employee’s work life balance:

  • telecommuting
  • paid time off
  • health and wellness programs
  • part-time options for some positions
  • train management on work life balance issues

Beyond.com surveyed 5,000 workers through an online poll: 57% put a healthy work life balance as their most important workplace goal for 2008.  In another online poll, the Center for State and Local Government Excellence surveyed 1,200 workers; 70% said what they wanted most of all from a job was a flexible and family friendly workplace.

Understanding the importance of work life balance, why rape crisis center personnel should have it and why management and the board of directors should promote it is crucial to the center’s overall ability to help survivors of sexual violence and serve the community. 

If you wish to contribute to this conversation please use the comment box below.

Additional information regarding Work Life Balance

Work life balance : Ways to restore harmony and reduce stress

5 Tips for Better Work Life Balance

Ohio The State of Perfect Balance

Employers and Work Life Balance

Work life balance key to being the best

Kavin Black currently holds the position of Organizational Services Coordinator at CALCASA. He works with rape crisis centers as well as other organizations to build agency capacity and infrastructure to further the mission of the organization. Kavin began working at CALCASA in July 2002 as the Campus & Training Resource Coordinator on the National Campus Program to Address Violence Against Women on College Campuses. Kavin is a former Executive Director of a California rape crisis center and a former academy instructor for California POST.

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