The New Work/ Life Balance

The New Work/ Life Balance – Are you a solid rock?

Ever notice whenever insurance companies and Wellness groups promote “Work/Life Balance” they show pictures of weight scales and/or paired rocks like these (pictured) that balance perfectly?  As if these verging antonyms, ‘Work’ and ‘Life’, could possibly be totally separate and totally equal parts of your reality. In the favorite words of VP Joe Biden, “That’s a bunch of malarkey!”

The original term ‘Work/Life Balance’ in 2016 is as oxymoronic as the phrase ‘Jumbo Shrimp’.

In these days, most business employees are forced to bring paperwork to our kitchen tables and living rooms, and sometimes even an iPad, laptop, or work-related reading material to our bedrooms.  At the same time, we are also forced to bring stresses and pressures from home life into our offices.  My wife and I have daily phone conversations betwixt our workplaces about “who’s picking up the kids” or “what are we thinking of doing for dinner”.  Not to mention the personal emails I get while on the clock regarding my steep Time Warner Cable bill or a reminder that Modern Pest Services is arriving Thursday for preventative services.  These are daily interrupters that bring home’s problems into my office space (and likely yours).   They leave me running errands at lunch time, showing up occasionally late to the office, and leaving occasionally early.

Surely, no matter who you are, there is no balance achieved.  Either your work will trump your home life or home life will dominate your attention at work… making you either a distracted employee or leaving you feeling the guilt of putting work before family/friends/self.

The ‘New’ Work/Life Balance is more realistic and achievable for those of us equipped with the right understanding and tools. But it requires some training…

The New Work/Life Balance is not two separate but equally weighted stones on a scale…  It is just one solid rock!  ONE!  And that’s exactly why it works.

Its one solid rock, so it will automatically adjust to any surface (flat or flawed).  No matter how vigorously or carefully it’s plopped down, it settles to a firm, stable position of balance every time.

You can physically test the theory.  Grab a solid rock and drop it on the ground or floor.  Now pick it up.  Set it down softly. Now pick it up. Chuck it as hard and far as you can!  Only, now you have to go find it in order to pick it up.  But when you do find it, observe it for a moment.  I bet it balances in some position. It balances effortlessly and perfectly!

Are you well-balanced?  Are you a solid rock?   Can you maintain balance in life effortlessly and perfectly?  Or are you still juggling and weeble-wobbling through your existence?

If you are still attempting to live by the old work/life balance definition… you, your company, and likely those you care about are losing out.

-TJ Holloway, MBA, MSc, CBCS

*Contact us at for information about our much-admired and recently awarded “Solid Rock” Seminar & Workshop.  See how we have taught many workplaces and employees to gain the balance they need to be more successful at work AND at home.




What does it mean to be “Professional”?

This is an old discussion that clearly needs to be rekindled by the leaders in many businesses and organizations.

  • Has the definition changed?
  • Are you ahead or behind the curve?
  • Are you doing everything you can to promote professionalism for your external and internal customers?

Our surveys find that most organizations have leader’s/manager’s responses to these (and other) questions on our survey that differ from the responses of the non-managerial employees in their companies.

Fittingly, the businesses we surveyed that have the greatest similarities between the answers from managers and those from the non-managerial team members just happen to be on the “Best Places to Work in Maine” list (  Also, fittingly, businesses with the greatest polarity and widest standard deviation with regard to answers to our survey questions tend to spend more money on corrective actions than on professional development.

So, what does it mean to be a professional?  If you’re not having the conversation with your employees and explaining what it means to your organization, you’re making a big assumption that your workforce will already know.  Is it worth it?