Christopher Whitson

Dad, investor, 🌎 traveler, .NET dev, advisor,
ocean swimmer, coffee nut, sailor, and smooth operator.

I've never liked the whole work/life balance thing...

Some may be surprised to hear me say that.

I'm a huge advocate of making happy employees by allowing them to feel rewarded in unique ways.

But I don't think employees should be trying to balance work vs their outside life.

This statement is important.

Because if you have ever tried to balance anything, that means there is an up and down effect with the opposing side. And let's face it, there will be times when either work or life will need some extra effort, causing the other side to be neglected.

How about a work/life BLEND?

Yes, a blend. Where the two are combined. Where you can pursue work while being present in your life.

My wife has worked remotely for a law firm for 5 years now. She's done this from Central America, a class A RV, in NYC, hotels and even from our sailboat.

We travel the world while working. On our sailboat, she could work (we set up special internet hardware specifically for this) and then take a few hours off and we would dinghy to a beach.

There was no black and white was all grey area. If she needed to work, it got done. If she felt like playing with the kids, it happened. Sometimes she could do both simultaneously.

You need to create this for yourself. Your employer is NOT going to suggest it to you. Work hard, become invaluable. Not every job can have this type of flexibility. If you work at a bank in front of customers, bringing your kids into the branch is not going to work (unfortunately).

Hard work is the only way you get this blend. My wife's work never suffers and neither does our relationship as a family. We're basically around each other 24/7!

And the only way we are able to have this blend of work and life is that we both worked our asses off at an early age before we had kids (and while the older one was very young) in order to make ourselves valuable. Then you find anyone willing to hire you under YOUR terms. My wife went to her current firm (where she had worked previously) and said she'd come back, but only if she could work remotely and get paid a certain amount. The senior partner agreed on the spot.

I make it sound easy. Going to the firm and making the offer was easy. The years of overtime and office drudgery to be able to demand such things was not. But you have to earn that in order to be able to do it. My wife's been at that same firm and they do whatever it takes to keep her there.

I'll talk about when you shoudn't be trying to blend life and work in my next post. So stay tuned.

And if you'd like me to look at your situation and give you some specific tips, reach out to me.

If you are a business owner and have an employee that is pushing you toward something like this...or (even better) want to offer it as an alternative to keep top a support ticket and I'll have a chat with you about it and give you some pointers that will help.

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