Work-Life Balance: Reality or Myth?

November 11, 2014 5:16 PM

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Over the years I have presented numerous workshops and coached many people, mostly in a business context. About 15 years ago, the term "work-life balance" started emerging and quickly became a "buzz phrase." I started noticing it in the investment banking industry where I used to joke at workshops for newly hired bankers, "If there was truth in advertising, they would say, 'Don't have a life? Willing to work 90 hours a week with the potential of burning out in 4 years? Then come work for us!'" That always got a chuckle in the room.

The idea of work-life balance is not new. The government first attempted to advocate this balance when it passed the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, introducing the 40-hour workweek. The focus re-emerged in the mid-1990s, coinciding with the internet moving to the forefront and the increased numbe...

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