Hello again friends! I write this to you today with the most beautiful view from the office: the open road. It’s a Thursday, and it’s 2pm, so what the heck am I doing in the car? Well, Becky (my mom) and I decided to take a spontaneous road trip to the happiest place on earth – Asheville, North Carolina.
Thankfully, my job has an awesome office policy that lets me work my 40 hours from just about anywhere, anytime. Thus, I’m writing a blog post in a word doc on my laptop. That’s why Roundpeg and I mesh so well together.
So all this got me to thinking about what is arguably one of the most important factors when choosing a job: work-life balance.
Around the World
In OECD’s Better Life Index, the United States ranked 27th in work-life balance – don’t get too excited there folks. They only surveyed 38 countries. In the US, the average employee gets 10 vacation days a year. On the other hand, Denmark was ranked #1 in work-life balance, and companies are required by the government to give their employees 5 weeks of vacation. Other countries, like France, have enough loopholes and workarounds, that some people can actually accrue almost 10 weeks worth of vacation days.
Now, moving on to work hours in a week. We all know that “full time” is considered 40 hours a week. But in reality, the average American works 42.5 hours a week; and a whopping 11.6% of those surveyed worked 50 hours or more a week! The hours we work a week are much higher than that of other countries. For example, in 2000, France implemented a 35 hour work week. Moreover, many businesses in Australia take 1/2 days on both Thursday and Friday. That being said, there are many other countries that work well above the standard 40 hour work week. In particular, Japan is known to have work weeks averaging 60 hours or more. In fact, in 1993 they even coined the term, karōshi, which means “death due to overwork.” Yeah, that sounds pretty drastic to me.
The Small Business Owner
As a small business owner, there’s a 120% chance that you live and breathe your business. You’re on the clock 24/7, unlike the rest of us. You’re likely in the 11% of the work force that works over 50 hours a week. Heck, you probably work closer to 75 hours a week.
There’s a million and one things that you need to focus on, and sometimes, things can fall by the wayside. Prioritizing can be hectic, and sometimes it unfortunately boils down to the simple fact that there is just too much for one person to do…
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, outsourcing your marketing, graphic design and/or webdesign can be an amazing investment for the small business owner. By allowing someone else (us) to take over social media, blogs, webdesign, etc., you’re freeing up time for your business, and hopefully, yourself.
Finding the Balance
Work is a necessity. It provides individuals with a purpose or a goal. People spend their whole lives trying to get that “dream job.” They go to prestigious colleges, study their butts off and get the degree they need in order to pursue the career that they want. Work provides people with money, which in turn can provide just about anything else: a home, a car, food, etc. Individuals literally need to work in order to survive and get basic necessities.
But you’ve still got to take some time for yourself. And hopefully you’ve found that job that doesn’t feel much like a job.
And on a final note, I share with you the wise words of Dirty Heads: “Hey, hey hey, I’m on vacation, every single day, ’cause I love my occupation…”