• Finding Work-Life Balance: try it out

    by  • 3 April 2015 • Alternative Business and Economics • 0 Comments

    It’s Good Friday and Floris HQ is very quiet. Lots of staff are off spending time with family (happily balancing work and life) but a quick tally reveals that we have every stage of life covered from Jos van der Brug’s new Finding Work-Life Balance manual.

    In the office today we have our youngBrugFindingWorkLifeBalance-3d intern, who comes into the book’s ‘receptive’ stage; there are a few folk from the ‘expansive’ early 20s stage; and some from the forties (‘the search for meaning’) and early fifties (‘wisdom’).

    However, the early 30s (‘controlling the world with our thinking’) and late thirties (‘changing course’) have left the building for the weekend …

    Van der Brug’s book follows seven year cycles and he caveats his findings with:

    ‘This book should be used as a means to observe and understand people better, to uncover their strengths and to allocate them suitable mentors and tasks. No one will absolutely fit the characteristics and qualities sketched out in each chapter. The message of this book [is] to encourage people to find a balance that suits each phase so that they may enjoy the whole experience. Working cultures change, and this book provides only rough guidelines for finding the balance as it stands today.’

    He goes on: ‘The foundation for modern teamwork should always be in letting the qualities and potentials of individuals take their proper place and making good use of them. The concept of the stages of work and life simply provides the opportunity for better insight.’

    Which brings us neatly to Floris Books’ founder, who has technically departed the ‘releasing our work’ stage but in fact is nowhere near releasing his work… He is in the office today and editing continually.

    Despite this, it is remarkable how much of van der Brug’s thesis appears to hold true, even within our small team. Personally, I have just returned to work after a seven year ‘break’ to have and raise children: my seven year old has just lost his first tooth, I have hit the ‘search for meaning’ stage and I’m very glad my boss has read this book!

    Each chapter includes a case study to illustrate and explore real-life problems and possibilities. The frequent tips will help both employees and employers find practical ways to understand and address the role of age within their organisation. What does each stage of life offer in the composition of a team? What must managers pay attention to in their coaching? How can we best approach someone who isn’t coping at work? And how might our life stage be affecting the different challenges we face?

    Try it within your office or people you work with – it will help you to relate to your colleagues, to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and figure out the most effective ways you can motivate them and learn from them.


    More about Jos van der Brug and Finding-Work Life Balance

    Jos van der Brug was a senior advisor for the Association for Social Development, founded by Bernard Lievegoed, for twenty-five years. He was also a consultant for business organisations and government bodies and an expert on workplace dynamics.

    Work-Life Balance is available now in paperbook and eBook from florisbooks.co.uk


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