The buzz of work-life balance is all over, companies taking initiatives , offering facilities and yet we have people who are suffering from High Blood Pressure or Cholesterol or even heart ailments at any early age. Is it just the propaganda or actually people are serious about it.
What is Work-Life Balance
To define the term, it is as simple as that you are able to equally divide your life time and spend time with family and friends ,get some quality time for yourselves ,be in good health, able to meet all your family expectations, complete your household pending tasks but still be a star performer in your company. Yes , I know you are smiling because this is the "ideal case" which seems to be non existing.
So then work-life balance is just a fantasy. isn't?
How much time actually we have after office hours
Why do you need work-life balance because although companies mention that its just 40-45 hrs of working a week so rest of the time[80-75 hrs for five days a week + weekend] is at your disposal and the luxury to use it however you want, then why so much fuss what work-life balance?
Even if we simply reduce the 45 hrs of working , then we are left with 75+48=123 hrs but we are missing here some of the points -
- Sleep Time - No matter what, you need an average of 8 hrs sleep per day, but I know you are a busy person so lets reduce it to 7 hrs a day. Lets do some math now , for a week you need 7*7 = 49 hrs of sleep. So now you have remaining hrs left 123-49 = 74 hrs at your disposal, unless you cut down further on your sleep.
- Commute Time - Most of offices are located in the middle of the city and people usually have their homes at other corners leading to an increase in commute time. This time although you are not working or doing your household work but is crucial . There were many reports and studies done, which clearly says that commute time affects the well being of the person and in fact a study conducted by the thisismoney says that on an average human spend 200 hrs a year in just commuting. So lets do some math again so on an average for each month we spend ~17 [200/12 months]hrs and for each week ~4.25 hrs[17/4 weeks]. So we are left with 74-4.25 hrs = 69.75 hrs
- Routine work - Now you obviously need time for your frequent bathroom breaks which includes, shower, shaving, hygienic stuff. Again the studies shows we spent on an average 182 hrs per year in bathroom. That's huge!!Again some math , so for each month ~15 hrs and for each week ~4 hrs . So we are left with 69.75 - 4.00 = 65.75 hrs every week.
- Eating Time - Now that's also necessary, as we are working to feed our hungry tummy. And studies revealed that an average American spend around ~1 hr each day in eating[all meals included] so for a week it should be 7 hrs , then we are left with 65.75-7 = 58.75 hrs
- Other miscellaneous activities - There are other activities which are really like routine stuff , but really necessary to do like waiting for elevator, waiting to board a train, waiting time to cross the road, parking your car and list could go on so lets assume an hr daily for such activities , so for a week 7 hrs of misc activities and now we are left with 58.75 - 7 = 51.75 hrs.
- Office hours Overlap with other geographies - As the work has been outsourced , we are well aware that we need to adjust our timings so that we interact with them. That would definitely lead to more office hours or if you are at home taking call from from there but that's the important part of our planning . So may be on an average 5 hours of overlap is needed . So we are left with 51.75-5 = 46.75 hrs. Lets round it to 46 hrs.
So we now have the number , that we only have 46 hrs each week for our disposal to be spent on family, your gym time, sports, social networking ,talking over phone and of course overtime for office work.
So then is it really possible to attain a balance?
Just check it for yourself!