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Personal and family time are important considerations in the workplace

The atrium was quickly becoming filled with Christmas decorations, the sounds of hammering as the work crew put the stage in place echoed throughout the big open space.

This is it – the exciting time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas where we spend weeks preparing for the biggest celebration of the year.

The Babe, the Son of Mary – Jesus Christ’s birthday celebration nears.

How do we squeeze more into our already full lives? We somehow manage every year. Presents to buy and wrap, decorations to be hung, cards to be sent, and cookies to be baked… Aunt Martha needs the perfect present and she’s hard to buy for. John will be looking for his favorite peanut butter balls when he arrives in town. The list goes on and on this time of the year.

The work crew was building a stage to host the children’s Christmas party the following day as I paused in my mad dash through the area to greet a friend who was also about to hastily rush by before she spied me heading in her direction.

She briefly updated me on a program that had just closed and an ensuing conversation around how the feat had been pulled off despite tight deadlines, high expectations, and limited resources. My friend and her colleague agreed the program was a success and they talked of the sacrifices made to have achieved this status.

“At what cost is it worth it? my friend wondered. The program had been deemed “a success”, but what was given up in the process and was it worth the cost?

Job demands seem to intensify in a difficult economy as organizations are forced to cut costs, often cutting employees, to remain competitive. Workers are often expected to give up personal and family time to put in extra hours. The “fear factor” drives us to miss important personal activities in favor of working longer and harder to complete work projects.

What we are willing to sacrifice is an individual choice. Please don’t make the choice based solely on the path of least resistance. Sometimes it’s easier to give personal and family time when there is a conflict in the face of increasing work demands.

Personal and family time is important, and it should be important to your employer too.

God desires you to be rested, refreshed, restored, and healthy. We must purpose to take care of ourselves in order to achieve this goal – for Him, for, ourselves, and our families.

Mark 8:36 “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (NIV)

For more information on work life balance visit Workplace Influence.