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Work/life balance is getting more attention in the corporate world than ever before as people struggle to make the best of what life offers them or cope with what life flings at them- at work and at home. In this context, it is interesting to see how different organizations seek to facilitate a better work/life balance for their people.  I came across an article by Pamela Weinsaft  in The Glass Hammer – an on-line community designed for women executives.

She writes about the practices relating to work/life balance at Bain & Company one of the world’s leading management consulting firms and one which won- for the sixth year in a row- the honour of being at the top spot of Consulting magazine’s “10 Best Firms To Work For”. The article ends with a terrific quote from Steve Ellis, the worldwide Managing Director of Bain.

“What we’ve learned over the years is work/life balance has to be defined at the individual level. It means different things to different people at different times in their lives. What is universally true is the importance of two key factors—control and impact. If our teams are working in an environment where they have an appropriate level of control over their schedule and their work is clearly having measurable impact, they can achieve their definition of work/life balance.”

I particularly liked the insight that work/life balance means different things to different people at different times in their lives. I believe that the two factors mentioned by Steve- control and impact- apply not just for the work part of the work/life equation but equally to the life part as well. People respond better when the schedules for their family responsibilities are within their control. People would give quality time to their families when they realize the value of the impact they make-or don’t make-in the lives of those around them.

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This is Post No: 336 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.

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