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Job Control!

Has your job control taken over your life? What happens when the job demands become inflexible and you have no voice? No say in how that job works?

It can be insidious and destructive! Affecting both your mental and physical health.

Having a job we love, working with people we like can be a joy and effortless. Our energies are amplified, success, confidence and happiness ensue.

Love What you Do!

Conversely when we have a job that takes over our life! A time when you no longer feel you have a voice or your contributions are acknowledged. Stress levels increase, energies become drained and we become consumed with the job to the detriment of everything in our life including friends, family and health.

Stephen Covey stated “the key is not to prioritise what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”. It got me thinking how often do we do this and take control of our competing demands and give in to the demands of the job?

The Job!

I remember a time when I was working in a senior role operationally for a mining company doing fly in, fly out work, 8 days on and 6 days off. At work I allowed it to consume me day in, day out. I was challenge by the expectations of the role and felt I no longer had a voice. The role was inflexible.

I justified that I had work – life balance when I had my break and went home that was my personal time.Time where I recharged. Initially that was the case however before long the tables had turned and I found myself not being able to “switch off” from the job on my break. 

During my break I was catching up on paperwork, finishing reports, making some calls, preparing for my return to work the following week, taking work calls and the lists goes on. Before long these habits had become routine. This was the norm and even though I was on my “break” I had no time for “me time”.

Finding myself in a position where my job was controlling me! On reflection I had become so immersed in my job that I stopped having time to “have a life” and catch up with friends and family. The job had consumed me! It had become an unhealthy imbalance. 

Everything about me had changed, I had lost my “mojo”, my sense of purpose and without the balance in my life my clarity was blurred and my mind became “foggy”. Each day became an effort and joy, fun and happiness left my life for a while.

What the Research is Telling Us?

Forbes talks about the term “work- life balance” and that it has now been replaced with the term work – life harmony. Focus is now around this term, instilling a feeling of balance. Reduction of stress and burnout is the currency of change.

By 2020, it suggested that both employees and employers will start thinking differently about they way we both work and live. Some reasons cited for these changes are:-
– Fewer people in the workforce to do more work
– 5 generations in the workforce all at the same time, creating intergenerational challenges
– Catering for all the generations needs
– Each generation has different views on what work – life balance means for them

McKinsey research suggests that job control has a major impact on physical and mental health. Giving greater control over to employees to manage their work life it correlates to increased mental and physical health. Workplace cultures that are positive and supportive, reinforce to employees that they are valued and respected. This leads to increased staff retention.

Creating job control where the employee feels they can manage it effectively with a balance has shown to increase job satisfaction and motivation. Encourage employers to hand over job control to employees. Allowing them to take control, create balance, increase confidence and trust. Reducing mental and physical health problems by greater understanding of realistic work demands. 

Moving Forward!

Moving forward in this new landscape of leadership, creating an agile and adaptable mindset and environment will be the key.

Managing intergenerational workforces whilst supporting a positive mental and physical workforce requires a change in job control, creating flexibility and collaboration. Developing a “win – win” situation.

As a leader what have you found when you hand over job control to your team?

Would love to hear your thoughts?

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