Work-Life balance

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The most important factor in everyone’s life in the IT industry, especially, is the Work-Life balance that they are trying to achieve. Everyone is struggling in their own way to reach that ideal balance, whether they are Developers, Leads, Architects or Managers.

As one goes higher in the career, the responsibilities increase and it happens (very naturally) one should add, that the amount of work increases exponentially. Demands start for after-office hours and then expands to the weekend time as well. Peer pressure adds to the situation as well – everyone else in the office is doing it and one feels that this is the “ideal” way to get work done. Then, family life takes a beating and one has to take a decision on which way to go.

Work-from-home options are provided thanks to the faster broadband connections and the ability to work from anywhere – but as everyone who has worked in an office will attest, it is not the same as office work. This option will work more for individual contributors – developers, sales team but for those who manage teams, one has to be visible in the office to get more productive work achieved. Leaves taken tend to include attending telecons as well as checking mails on their blackberries.

Of course, this might not be the case all the time but this trend is more regularly seen. Is it only for those who cannot manage their work properly or for those who appear to be easy targets for their managers (to push more work) ? One needs to ask themselves the question – “Is this work so important that it cannot wait for the next working day?” Easier said than done. I would like to hear from all of you how you deal in such situations – maybe I will learn from all of you.

Is “Saying No” the answer? Have you encountered such situations? What is your best practice? I would love to hear.

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2 Responses to “Work-Life balance”

  1. Tweets that mention Work-Life balance « My Thoughts on Technology, Management, … -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Madhusudan Rao. Madhusudan Rao said: Work-Life balance: […]

  2. Prateek Khare Says:

    I indirectly learnt from Mr. Madhusudan Rao, “never to delay(read pile-up) official email responses”. But thats a different question altogether.

    The following comment is from someone who lives alone in a paying guest,so there is no one waiting back home when official work is done –

    I started leading a team 11 months ago and learnt that work from home, using logmein, teamveiwer, etc does no good as you still have to hold telephonic calls when your team does the standupmeeting in your absence, provide value clarifications and protect your team from insecure developers who pass the blame on to your young team, citing the physical absence of the usual leader.

    Over time, I worked on developing a second lead. I keep my whole team updated atleast 2 days in advance for team tasks and goals. The second lead takes ownership of all the team tasks in my absence and always has the freedom to err, I am directly responsible for all his actions. I learnt a lot through his young leadership and innovative ways of getting work done.

    I never delay my personal commitments and see to it that my professional environment is never impacted – by not taking any calls during working hours and in an attempt to balance that out, I never work on weekends.

    Work will not wait and will never finish.

    I am eager to learn more and read other responses here from much much more experienced, balanced and mature people.

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