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Lesson 3. Balancing Home and Office > Live to Work or Work to Live - Pg. 13

Balancing Home and Office 13 · Be disciplined if you work at home with a computer. It is too easy to wander off the job at hand by surfing the Internet or undertaking frequent trips to the kitchen in search of sweets. · Schedule a day of the week for grocery shopping and a day of the week for paying bills and reconciling accounts. Live to Work or Work to Live It's important to think of family first when organizing your work life. That's what a lot of this lesson is about. However, that's not always easy to do when you're striving to make good career choices. At work, as at home, it's crucial to keep a business plan in place. Where do you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years? Are you taking too much on at the office? Trying to keep up with company expectations can be tantamount to keeping up with the Joneses. It puts a lot of undue pressure on you and your family. Learn to Say No Taking too much on yourself can lead to exhaustion, poor performance, and burnout. Before you take on one more project, weigh the personal as well as professional costs. Thankfully, some companies recognize the burnout factor. Ernst & Young found that it was losing 22 percent of its women professionals annually in the late 1990s. The cost of hiring and training replacements was $150,000 per job. So, the company took measures to keep staff and attempted to change the workaholic work environment. According to BusinessWeek, Ernst & Young added more administrative staff, and partners factored staff demands and potential for turnover into project profitability. The company began to limit travel to four days a week and even placed a weekend ban on checking office voicemail and e-mail. Review the Company Plan Many companies have, or are recently adopting, family friendly work schedules. An international poll of the United States, Europe, Russia, and Japan, conducted by Gemini Consulting with Yan- kelovich Partners, revealed these five most desired attributes of a job: · · · · · The ability to balance work and personal life Work that is truly enjoyable Security for the future Good pay or salary Enjoyable co-workers But it was the ability to "balance the needs of work and family or personal life" that was ranked the most or second-most important worldwide. For women in particular, flexible work schedules have proven to be a way to stay active in the work force and also remain attentive at home. Catalyst, a nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, conducted a study that tracked 24 women for 10 years. Results showed that flexible work schedules helped them keep career momentum while balancing family life. Called Flexible Work Arrangements III, the study revealed that all of the women now hold mid- to senior-level positions with their firms, and most still work for the same company. In general, they reported themselves satisfied with the trade-off in balancing work and family. Catalyst recommends that companies put formal guidelines and policies in place for flexible work schedules to keep tal- ented employees.