"Work-Life Balance" And 9 Other Banishable Buzz Words

11/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Jenifer Howze Times Online

How do you achieve balance between work and family? Scale back, adjust your expectations, be flexible, goes the accepted thinking. But experts at a recent conference at Madrid's IESE Business School have better ideas.

At Building Sustainable Societies: Trends and Best Practices in Work and Family Balance, academics and businesspeople presented some of the new and innovative ways to think about getting our lives into kilter. In these crazy economic times, everyone is reevaluating what's important, making healthy working lives more important than ever. And that means ditching these 10 worst outmoded phrases.

1. Work-life balance

Everybody wants it, nobody has any clue about how to get it. That's because the idea is all wrong, according to Dr Steven Poelmans, co-founder of the International Centre of Work and Family at Madrid's IESE Business School. "I don't like the word balance," he says, since it means if you put more into one side (say, work or family responsibilities), there's less time for another. Instead companies and employees need to think about harmonising work life, prioritising things in the various parts of life as you need you to. "Work-life balance is about having a sense of meaning and purpose in life," says Poelmans.

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