在過去的十年，工作生活平衡（Work-life balance）是就業市場上流行的詞語。我在渣打銀行集（SCB）和匯豐銀行（HSBC）工作時, 工作生活平衡是我們經常對內外、商業社區論壇，求職平臺CTgoodjobs及其他媒體訪問的熱門話題。
根據上述話語，過去我的HR團隊曾經推出一系列的活動，例如「健康的身體與心靈（Healthy Body Healthy Minds）」、「健康週」、「彈性工作安排」、「部門按時/於6點離開辦公室」、「星期五鍛煉日（Friday Off for Exercise）」。HR研究把辦公室改建裝修，提供健身房/瑜伽設施，並為聆聽同事們意見，而在辦公室放置按摩椅。
Work/life balance in the Gig Economy
Work life balance was a buzz word in the last decades. It was also a popular topic of discussion in internal and external media of SCB and HSBC intranet, at Business Community forum and other media coverage like Careetimes and SCMP, etc …
A work-life balance not only helps improve staff’s health, but also their engagement at work, productivity and operational efficiency…
Following up on this statement, my HR team rolled out a series of programme like “healthy body healthy minds”, “Wellness Week”, “Flex-working arrangement”, “departing the office before 1800”, Friday off for exercise”; and the engagement coordinators will also look into office refurbishment to provide gym / yoga facilities as well as to provide a convenience such as putting a massage chair in the office to fulfil this mission. Does work-life balance exist in the gig economy ?
Gigging allows individuals with freedom and flexibility where they are in control of their time management on the piece of work (”piecemeal work”) . It is also the preference of the employers to reduce cost by not hiring a full-time employee or need a skilled person for a set and specific amount of time to complete a task. More platforms connecting contingent workers to businesses have to be set up to cater for this group of individuals. Some are highly specialized for professionals, including those for interim management, accountants, lawyers and doctors, restaurant workers, and creatives and etc.
I have never been a believer in work/life balance and don’t do much of anything in balance. Until I found that my health and family was at risk, which began my search for its real meaning. At work, I usually forgot “the sense of time” when I am surrounded by a tight schedule of meetings and a number of co-workers whom I need to have meetings to discuss various key issues and to find solutions to the problem statements. The 8 contracted working hours fly by easily.
Achieving work-life fulfilment!
To be frank, most of us continuously searching for some kind of balance / equilibrium which is elusive; balance is not a natural state. Change is inevitable and we need to adjust and to achieve balance as much as we can. Most people, when asked about life balance, talk about work as one part of their lives and everything else as another. However, when attempting to achieve a life in balance, it is crucial that we consider our work as an integral part of life, not a separate category. Question is how we embrace work-life integration ? We may be in a situation where we had an issue in the office which affected our profession and an negative impact at the personal level and ultimately the whole self. We should recognize the connection between work-life and to build a culture that supports work-life fulfillment. Only by doing so, this will offer an environment for individuals with the energy to innovate and be passionate about their work and community where they belong. Life balance is about the sense of living a meaningful life and personal fulfillment. Hence, it is for us to manage our own perception and expectation!
For gig workers, you have to determine BETTER ALTERNATIVES TO LIVE – work-life balance can be improved. The money can be great if you find the right spot. It is essentially being an entrepreneur and it is up to the individuals who would like to strike a balance of work and life and how much they would prefer earning. The choice is yours!