UNITED STATES—Work and family, it is difficult at times to separate the two from each other. For many Americans we spend so much time at work that we don’t know what it means to pay attention to our family. Work, its a part of life and most of us spend at least 30-60 hours in a given week or more at our place of employment. Now factor in how much time we actually spend with family or at home? I’ve never considered it, but to be honest, I don’t know how much time I spend with family in a given week, but it’s nowhere close to what I’m doing at work.
For many women, they are placed in the difficult predicament of having to decide rather spending time with their children or putting food or bringing money into the household. I haven’t fathomed why men don’t get as much backlash about spending more time at work instead of at home. However, what is expected. Either you stay at home and raise the kids or you go to work to provide the funds needed to raise the kids. It is a situation that is not easy to put into perspective no matter how much one attempts to do so?
There has to be something that we as a society can do to balance the demands of work and life. I mean I’ve seen women who are superheroes. I mean they work full-time jobs, while taking care of the kids and attending dance recitals, sporting events and so much more. How they do it? I will never know, but at the same time, I hear those stories from women who still feel guilty about having to leave the kids for several hours to go to work or to do this or to do that. It’s no secret that women are better nurturers with children than men, but at the same time that is not to discredit that men are not capable of caring for the kids.
To be honest I have witnessed a ton of situations where men have taken on the role of being the primary care taker of the children. And I’m not only referencing this in the sphere of handling the daily operations at home, but working full-time at the same time. It may seem unlikely, but it can indeed be accomplished America. We’ve talked a lot about family life, so let’s chat a bit about work. What can we do as a society to limit or decrease the level of stress that comes with work? I mean I for one hate the notion of leaving work only to find it following me to my home. When you leave work, your goal at the end of the day is to be completely done with work. You don’t want to keep thinking about it once you’ve entered the home.
Why? It creates stress and that work stress can impact your family life and dynamics. A parent having a tough day at work can spillover to the kids and to your significant other; it’s unfortunate. The demands of work have become too much in our society. I will be the first to acknowledge the notion of working from home has perks, but the drawbacks are significantly worse in my opinion. The constant stress you endure of trying to ensure things are finished, not knowing when you might receive a text or call from work, not having enough time to finish certain assignments, constant distractions in the household, I mean I can keep chatting forever if you’d like to listen.
The one great thing about an office job is once you leave for the day, that’s it! You don’t have to worry about doing work anymore. Also the notion of communication and constant interaction with actual people face-to-face is more visceral. I like to talk to people, I like interacting with people. You can still do it while working from your home office, but it’s so easy for communication lines to get tied up and cause confusion for all parties involved. So I think to solve this problem is easy, consider a hybrid combination (a bit of work at the office and a bit of work at home). Give the employee the best of both worlds.
So let’s talk about the most important thing of all: vacation time and paid time off. Companies don’t believe in this anymore and it baffles me to the core. I’m sorry, but there is NO ONE in this world who wants to work 24/7, the pure idea of doing so is exhausting and never-ending America. You can work around the clock 24/7 and try to get stuff done and guess what: you’re still NOT GOING TO GET EVERYTHING DONE! Nothing is more annoying than someone who just starts a job with a company and expects to have a week vacation after only working 2-3 months. Why?
You have someone on the other end of the spectrum who has been with the company for years, and who would have guessed it this new person is looking for a vacation at the exact same time that you’d like to take your vacation. This is a time where one would think seniority matters, but for some employers it doesn’t. They know you’re going to get stuff done, and as a result you’re left high and dry, while your less than stellar counterpart gets what he or she wants. Employers should be careful with this tactic because this is how you lose great employees and I’m a firm believer that once you shut a door there is no reason to reopen it. That is my motto and trust me I live by it to the core. There should be a bigger balance between one’s work life and family life. The unfortunate truth is in the world we live in today, that is not the case and it royally sucks.