Work Family Harmony

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Finding work- family Harmony in today's frenetically-paced world is no simple task. Spend more time at work than at home and you miss out on a rewarding personal life. Then again, if you're facing challenges in your personal life such as caring for an aging parent or coping with marital or financial problems, concentrating on your job can be difficult.

Whether the problem is too much focus on work or too little, when your work life and your personal life feel out of balance, stress — and its harmful effects — is the result.

To take control, first consider how the world of work has changed, then reevaluate your relationship to work and apply these strategies for striking a more healthy balance.

How work invades your family life
There was a time when employees showed up for work Monday through Friday and worked eight to nine hours. The boundaries between work and home were fairly clear then. But the world has changed and, unfortunately, the boundaries have blurred for many workers. Here's why:

Global economy. As more skilled workers enter the global labor market and companies outsource or move more jobs to reduce labor costs, people feel pressured to work longer and produce more to protect their jobs. International business. Work continues around the world 24 hours a day for some people. If you work in an international organization, you might be on call around the clock for troubleshooting or consulting. Advanced communication technology. People now have the ability to work anywhere — from their home, from their car and even on vacation. And some managers expect that. Longer hours. Employers commonly ask employees to work longer hours than they're scheduled. Often, overtime is mandatory. If you hope to move up the career ladder, you may find yourself regularly working more than 40 hours a week to achieve and exceed expectations. Changes in family roles. Today's married worker is typically part of a dual-career couple, which makes it difficult to find...
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