As I sit here at Pearson International waiting for my plane to arrive to once again whisk me away from my husband/my dogs/my home, I find myself lamenting about the concept of work-life balance. I have noticed that this ideal has become increasingly important over the last decade as a new generation of dental professionals embark on their careers. Priorities have shifted from money, status, and material possessions, to ones of experiences, vacations, and the overall enjoyment of life (over everything else) in an attempt to bring “balance” into ones life.
Now don’t get me wrong, in theory there is nothing wrong with this and I am not passing judgment on those who live by this philosophy. However, I think that “balance” may not be exactly what we are looking for. Balance by definition is a an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Even distribution, 50/50. I’m not sure that is a reality in this modern working world. And furthermore, this concept inherently assumes that work is something to be escaped from and is only done for the paycheque and nothing more.
Instead, what we should be seeking is something more like work-life integration, or work-life harmony. For instance, my life is anything but typical; I take 80+ flights a year, wake up in a different city each week, and do some sort of “work” each and every day of the week. And I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love owning a business, not only do I find the work extremely fulfilling, it allows me to set my own schedule, vacation for free on my ever accumulating travel points, and ensures that the downtime I do take is shared with my husband and partner. Our life is not the standard, but it works for us.
Practice and business owners alike owe it to themselves and the potential talent out there to find different ways to be flexible in their business. There are so many things to consider, and many questions to ask. How can we be flexible and still meet targets and goals. A good brainstorming session is in order, just like the concept of creative compensation, creative work-life integration is a must if you are truly serious about recruiting the perfect team. When you are sitting down to come up with ideas on how to be creative with your structure, be sure to research other companies online about how they have things set up. It works for so many different businesses, it can work for us too.
Until next time!