Achieving a work-life balance has been the topic of many articles and blogs of late; there’s even an entire website (WorkLifeNation) devoted to it. These articles focus a lot on managing your work life, reducing stress, and making work places more employee friendly. None of them suggest hiring personal support on your own, or getting companies to provide it as a benefit for their employees. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good tips out there; some I would even argue are common sense. But, do they reflect what will work in your life?
Over the past decade technology has made it possible for many workers to be productive while working at home all or part of the week, and flexible schedules on the job make it possible to run personal errands during the day rather than waiting until the weekend. But does this improve the quality of the time you spend away from work? For workers with long commutes, working from home all or part of the week can help them regain precious time spent commuting rather than being productive. However workers with short commutes won’t reap the benefit of gaining substantially more time to do other things during the week.
While a flexible work schedule can make it easier to go see your child in a school play or go shopping for birthday party supplies, if you have to go back to work afterward are you any better off than you were without a flexible schedule? Certainly being able to see your child in a school play, or make a goal in a soccer game is worth working an extended day, but can the same be said of picking up party supplies, dry cleaning, groceries, or any of the myriad of household/personal tasks that need to be accomplished as well? Have a spouse/partner you can share the load with? What if your spouse can’t pitch in more because (s)he’s equally overworked and stressed out, and what about their own to do list that needs to be completed?
One perk that some companies offer their employees is access to a concierge service. A concierge can accomplish a myriad of tasks for you thereby reducing your stress and allowing you to focus on getting your work done, and spending quality time with family and friends. If your company doesn’t provide this benefit or the service offerings are limited, you may want to consider hiring a personal concierge on your own. A personal concierge can not only accomplish all those regular mundane tasks you can’t seem to find time for, but they can be in your home to wait for repairmen, furniture deliveries, water your plants and provide pet care when you travel, organize your closets and draws as well as complete a host of other projects for you.