The question people always ask us this time of the year is “what are you seeing in the marketplace?”

Well, this year we have a definitive answer:  Work/ Life Balance requests.

If you have been feeling burnt out, you are not alone.  EVERY candidate we have spoken to over the holidays and since 2020 began have been focused on finding an opportunity that gives them better work/life balance.  That can mean different things to different people, but bottom line, the inability to turn work off is taking its toll.

What has changed?  What was the tipping point?

I think there are several factors that are contributing to this:

  1. Technology has made it too easy to work 24/7—between IM, email and text, it doesn’t matter whether you work in an office or at home, you can respond morning noon and night –If leaders are texting at 10 pm, their employees feel they need to respond promptly and it sets an expectation, one that is cutting in to family and social time as well as much needed sleep.
  2. Globalization — Although not a new component to the workplace, more and more roles do have a global component so conference calls to Asia for example, with a 12-hour differential, make the new normal.  If you say “good morning” at 10 o’clock at night, mentally, you are working around the clock.  
  3. Commute — We’ve been talking for the past 10+ years on the lack of mobility in the workforce—the other side of that is because many people don’t want to physically move, they are doing longer and longer commutes which is contributing to their already long work day.
  4. Competition — Productivity and efficiency pushes have driven expectations higher as well as simply the pace of business today.  These are not necessarily negatives, but the reality is employees are expected to do more and to turn around work at a greater pace and it is contributing to the burn out level. 
  5. Organizational Structure — In recent years, organizations have flattened out their organizational structures so there are fewer direct reports with many roles which has left employees feeling pushed and pulled at the same time.  Complaints include “I’m in meetings all day long so the only time I can get MY work done is nights and weekends.”

Bottom line,when people feel a loss of control over their time, it can cause anxiety, depression and a sense of not being respected. Families suffer, people get sick more often and there becomes a general malaise that can set into a company culture. How do we reverse this trend? Be cognizant of these points and as a leader, set boundaries that allow people time to reset. It’ll be a good start.

We are always happy to help you through every step of the process, from determining what your career goals are to helping you reach them. Feel free to contact us!

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