The things I love about working in the online space also make it terrible for work-life balance. The immediacy, the connectivity, the multimedia – it all makes it difficult to disengage and switch off. Like me, some of you have a bit of an internet addiction personally; add to that at least 40 hours a week for work and it quickly gets exhausting.
I’m still holding out. I don’t have a smartphone myself (I drop my phones a lot and I refuse to pay the exorbitant data prices we’re charged in NZ), nor do I have one for work (I’ve always figured once that happens, you’re always expected to be reachable).
Yes, working in online, the hours can be awful, and like many other fields, longer for those higher up the chain. Even those lucky enough to have something close to a 9-5, Monday to Friday schedule, know they can be called in anytime.
None of the women in my department have kids. I don’t think this is a coincidence. I’m still years upon years away from even thinking about babies, but it is certainly food for thought.
Balance is something that’s really important to me. Or at least striving for it. This is a “passion” job, although like I’ve said, I certainly don’t wake up rearing to go. I wouldn’t want to be in any other industry at this stage, but money aside, I’d rather work less and spend more time pursuing my other interests. I happily put in overtime as needed, but I refuse to let work be my life. Or my life be work. It’s something that’s easy to get sucked into, and something I see in others in this industry.
Or is work-life balance increasingly a remnant of the past? I occasionally check in on the #u30pro Twitter chat; it’s aimed at young professionals, and most of the participants seem to work in media-related roles. I find all the talk of “authenticity” a bit tiring, but one of the things I’ve observed is that not many think balance is realistic – or even desirable. Which I think is most commendable, but there have got to be limits.
Where do you fall on the spectrum? Are you expected to be available outside hours? Is switching off easy/feasible/desirable?