ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - August 2000

Issue Highlight - Homeward Bound
--- Peter Block offers some practical reccomendations about how to create balance and harmony in your life.
These recommendations are guaranteed to work or your time back."

In This Issue...
The Economics of Choice
Children: A Blessing or a Lucky Taxbreak
Welcome to the Wild West
The Struggle to Have It All

Peter Block Column
Day In The Life Stories
Views for a Change

Heard on the Street
Letters to the Editor

The Struggle To Have It All
Balancing Work and Home Through the Eyes of Others: An Introduction

--Susan Hay stamps her work and life priorities on her forehead. Well, not literally, but it is her way of showing how important the balance is for her. And not only for Susan, but for most people working and living in today's 24/7 world. What does it mean? What is the impact on our health, our families and our children? This special issue of News for a Change doesn't promise to answer these questions-if there is are answers. But it will provide a broad perspective and some personal views on the topic.

  Interestingly enough, in the struggle to balance work and family, it appears that jobs are tipping the scales. A large majority of workers say they want to spend more time in the home. However, statistics show that not enough feel they are able to do this as much as they would like. According to Work Trends, a study conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut and the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, 95 percent of workers are concerned about spending time with their family. Yet the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported 21 percent of workers are spending 49 hours or more at work per week, while 8 percent are putting in at least 60 hours per week. This doesn't include the commute, which averaged 23.7 minutes each way, as stated by a recent Gallup Poll.

  Some workers spend long hours away from family because they have little choice. Others choose to work longer hours. Work Trends revealed that 45 percent of all workers said they had to work overtime with little or no notice, with 18 percent saying they had to do this four or more days a week. On the other hand, in a Gallup Poll, 44 percent of workers said they were workaholics.

  Regardless of the cause behind long hours, the effect is the same. More and more children are being raised by day care. Parents are missing their children's sporting events and recitals. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics found that 7 percent of married couples with children under six years old work at least 40 hours per week. This figure is more than triple that of 50 years ago.

  Even though many workers are concerned with family, and find themselves working long weeks, most say they are happy with their employment. In a poll by Lou Harris and Associates, 91 percent of workers replied that they are satisfied with their jobs. This goes to show that there is no universal answer to the question: How much time away from home is too much?

  Over this special enlarged addition we hope you learn of the struggles of dealing with balancing work and family through our feature interview ,"The Economics of Choice." News for a Change also takes you into "A Day in the Life...," offering perspectives of a typical day for a CEO, a twenty something broker and more. Or learn more about a musician on the road 100 days a year or a commercial real estate broker in our "Balancing Work and Life: A Profile" throughout this special issue.

  Regardless, we believe the greatly publicized and widely discussed struggle to have it all, a successful career and a home, is often times best reflected and understood through the eyes of others.
August 2000 NFC Homepage


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