I am Yoshida, president of Yamada Shusei Ltd., a professional apparel garment repair group in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture.
Balancing work and life is a vexing issue for many managers. But is "work-life balance," often referred to as the solution, really an appropriate term?
Work-life balance is a concept that aims to equalize the time and quality of work and life. However, there are problems with this concept.
One is that it sees work and life as opposites. Work is part of life, and life affects work. Trying to separate work and life can be a way of dividing oneself.
Another assumption is that it is always possible to balance work and life. In reality, however, circumstances and environments may lean one way or the other. In that case, you may feel out of balance and experience stress and guilt.
So what should we aim for instead of work-life balance?
The answer is "Work-Life Harmony". Work-life harmony is a concept that aims to integrate and blend work and life with each other so that both are fulfilling.
The term was proposed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who gained attention when he said, "I tell my employees to value work-life harmony more than work-life balance.
To achieve work-life harmony, it is important that your work is aligned with your values and goals. By feeling fulfilled and meaningful in your work, you can bring a sense of happiness and satisfaction into your life. In addition, by taking care of our own physical and mental well being and that of our family, friends, and other loved ones in our lives, we can bring energy and creativity to our work. Work and life are interdependent, so it is necessary to approach them from both sides, not just one or the other.
Managers have a role to play in supporting work-life harmony not only for themselves but also for their employees, partners, and other stakeholders. It is a concept that aims not only to balance work and life, but also to contribute to oneself and society through work-life balance, so find your own answers.