Why I Hate “Work/Life Balance”

This month’s rant is about a cliché we all hear and many of us use – ‘Work/Life Balance’. I understand and love the concept …  but I hate the words used. So please, humor this incurable wordsmith a little.

The connotation implies that ‘life’ is the opposite of ‘work’ and must be balanced with it. Conversely, ‘work’ is the opposite of ‘life’.

There’s also the negative inference that work and life are somehow not connected or inter-related and that ‘work’ must be bad because it’s the opposite of ‘life’, which is a good thing.

No question about the importance of having enough time and energy to enjoy a life outside of the workplace. I’d just like better and more accurate words. While ‘work/personal life balance’ is a little better, it does suggest individual over family and is clunky. ‘Home life’ is also a little better, but doesn’t suggest travel, recreation or a social life.

So, here’s a solution to this semantic problem that I can easily live with. Wait for it … ‘Work/Non-Work Balance’. It’s clear and logical.  You’re either at work or not at work. The two sides of the equation are implied to be relatively equal and neither term is negative or judgmental.

I do hope you learn to love ‘Work/Non-Work Balance’ as much as I do.  Don’t thank me, it’s what we wordsmiths do.