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Workers say "no" to giving up work/life balance in 2009

    This is going to be a difficult year for business. And most of us want to keep our jobs.  But at what cost?

    FedEx Office, has checked the pulse of U.S. workers and found most of them claim work/life balance will be  more important to them in 2009 than it was last year. And, they're going to make some changes to get it, according to the Finding Better Balance" survey.

    Age made a difference:  A full 58 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds believe it will be more important to find better work/life balance in 2009, compared to 46 percent of those aged 35 to 54, and just 30 percent for the 50-and-over group.

   Here's how the workers' surveyed plan to take steps to get the ball rolling:

  • Take advantage of all vacation time (49 percent)
  • Prioritize projects (44 percent)
  • Create a weekly to-do list (42 percent)
  • Leave work at a reasonable hour (41 percent)
  • Take lunch breaks on a consistent basis (36 percent)

   Here are some suggestions from Tracy Brightman of FedEx:


Set your priorities and stick to them. Don't get sidelined by low-priority and last minute requests. Understanding the big picture and tackling the most important projects first will keep employees from burning the midnight oil unnecessarily.

Get the support you need. No employee, no matter how stellar, can do their job in a vacuum. It's smart to call in reinforcements early - including teammates, support staff, and external business services companies.

Put technology to work for you. According to the "Finding Better Balance" survey results, many modern technologies have helped America's workers attain better work/life balance. A full 77 percent of those surveyed said personal computers have been a major help in achieving work/life balance; 70 percent believe the same of the Internet and online business services.

    Are you seeking better balance in 2009? Do you plan to take all your vacation time this year? How about leave the office at a more reasonable hour? What else are you doing to reclaim personal time?


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Lisa Gates

Hi Cindy, great to find your site and the additional links. I'm writing an article for Lifehack.org and I'd love to include your post because it relates directly to the topic--life balance and fear of losing your job in a down economy.

My take on the whole life balance continuum is that gadgets and productivity tools are great if they are supporting your inner balance as well...what you say yes and no to, aligning your choices with your values, what your life goals are, etc.

Lisa Gates

Oops...I just realized I commented on today's post and this one all in one spot. Silly me. Balance? What balance?

Bethany Moore

I'm going to find a company to work for (wish me luck) who has modern attitudes toward work/life balance and HR policies. The world is changing fast and the way things have been done in the past are not conducive to sanity or balance.

Older generation employers are often not catching on to the changes, as it is difficult to let go of old ways of doing things. They make have worked in the 70's or 80's, but not anymore.

Employers need to take their younger workforce more seriously and not treat them differently just because they are a) single (not married), b) childless, or c) under the age of 40.

Work/Life Balance is for young, single people too.

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