Our founder and chairman Harvey Bowden recently took part in a live panel for the Guardian on how to keep a good work life balance. The panel was open to anybody to put their questions forward, particularly business owners.
started off with a question about how to treat emails outside of working hours. One of the panel noted that as sleep is so important for health and well being, checking emails late in the evening is detrimental. Harvey seconded this by saying that back when things were done with paper, you wouldn’t see your in-tray until the morning so to switch off your computer until you go to work.
A participant called Clare asked what to do when ‘you know you need to get something done because you know you won’t find time for it the following day’ while noting that this problem mostly stems from red tape. Harvey said ‘Don’t do it!’ When something crops up that doesn’t make common sense and is a red tape issue, leave it until a jobs worth comes along and wags his finger at you, apologise and ask them to help you fill out the forms!
Suzanne Hazelton noted that ‘Balance is presented as a static concept, but watch a tightrope walker stay balanced, constant adjustments’. Harvey added that ‘the concept of flow is a good way of looking at it’, relating that to keeping the balance between work and family as appropriate to their stages of life.
With regard to achieving success, Harvey asked ‘How successful do you want to be?’ He added that work life balance is about other aspects of life vs work, and that while work is fun, if you want to grow old and look back on a balanced life with wonderful children and achievements outside of the work environment, one must strive for balance. The easiest way to do this according to Harvey, is to allocate the time you have every day to these activities. In his words ‘It’s called a diary. Use it and stick to it. Then you’ll end up where you want to be!’