I recently stumbled across an article from CNN that featured a term that I had never heard before: weisure. The story defines “weisure” as “the blurring of work and play -- both what we do and where we do it,” which I can totally relate to as I’m committed to “have it all” and am writing this blog on a Monday evening in my car on the way home from our family cabin in Northern Minnesota (I’m a passenger, by the way!). And, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Over the years, we have been helping CPA and IT firm leaders implement “one-size-fits-one” motivation programs for their teams, because each of us wants something different from our careers. Unfortunately, we often try to fit people into a mold, or standard program, without really understanding their desires. For example, when we learn that someone appreciates “work/life” balance in their career, typically we think of someone working part time or leaving right at 5:00 p.m. to tend to their commitments outside of the office.
However, I greatly value work/life balance, which for me looks like working 65-70 hours a week when I travel and attending my daughters’ softball games or dive meets and working from the cabin on Fridays and Mondays in the summer so I can enjoy a long weekend with my family. To me, work/life balance is more about knowing the results I am expected to produce and the dates by when they’re expected to be complete, and then working out my schedule to make it happen.
This does require that I’m available to my other team members and clients, too, during “normal” business hours, or communicating when I’m not going to be. Technology today makes this possible – I can access the Internet virtually from anywhere at anytime, take advantage of the “cloud” to access information I need to complete my work, and be on my cell phone and headset to make calls. I’m so glad I’m in the 21st century during the peak of my career!
CNN’s article stated many reasons for our society moving toward one of “weisure,” including the ability to work virtually anywhere with the access to the Internet that I mentioned, plus the economic conditions driving companies to expect more from their employees and the adoption of social media technologies that allow us to do work and stay in contact with “friends” at the same time. The one reason that resonates the most for me is that work has become a source of meaning and fun, so people are combining difference making and fulfillment with deliverables and results. I do love that I get to make a difference for my clients and truly enjoy the relationships I have with them and my team members – which makes it fun! And one of our firm’s core values is having fun – and we’re really committed to it.
So, are you able to embrace a “weisure” lifestyle – whether intentionally or not? What are the benefits for you? What challenges do you experience? Post a comment to share with others who are on the same path! We’d love to hear from you.
Great that you are experiencing the weisure lifestyle and rather than putting extra hours in the office you can do your work in a more favorable environment. Interestingly, one managing partner from an accounting firm bristled when he was on a panel and heard the term work/life balance as he suggested the term he favored instead is work/life blend.
The story defines “weisure” as “the blurring of work and play -- both what we do and where we do it.” I personally don't like the term or the definition. I believe neither is blurred but simply for many an artificial separation has been removed and the implications need to be studied as you are doing.
Thanks for the comment, Howard. Yes, it really isn't work/life balance - it's is just life balance and work is one facet of it. I think the reference to "blurring" in the article is more about the enjoyment people derive from their work which causes the blend the managing partner that you referred to was speaking about. It definately does take further studying and then defining and embracing it in our firms, communicating the agreed upon commitment to all our team members. Thanks again for the thoughts!