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Have you noticed this is Work-Life Balance Week?


It pretty much depends on where you are in the country - or how much time you have to look up from your work! - but this really is Work-Life Balance Week.

The issue has been growing in importance over the last couple of yours, particularly as the rate of change and degree of urgency in the workplace has led many employees to be driven forward at an ever-faster rate. Earlier this year, the Prime Minister held a 'breakfast seminar' to highlight the government's increased attention to Work-Life balance issues.

Now there is a National Work-Life Forum with support from government, public bodies and major employers.

Several companies, most notably BT in recent days, have announced policies to review the workloads and practices of those employees who spend extended periods at work. This reflects the awareness that long hours at work do not necessarily equate with productivity, and can often be harmful to the overall health of the staff member concerned.

Five years ago, when Granada was engaged in a hostile takeover battle for the Forte empire, and TV documentary followed both chief executives over the closing weeks of the battle. Rocco Forte was seen to be working 17 hour days with not a gap in his diary. Gerry Robinson of Granada would commute in from his Mediterranean home for three days each week. He commented: "I take around three business decisions each day - but the key to success is knowing which issues you need to take decisions about, and leave the rest to others." Granada succeeded in buying Forte.

The National Work-Life Forum have published a report 'Breakpoint/Breakthrough: Work-life strategies for the 21st Century' which can be ordered from their website, where a summary is also available online.


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