New Balancing Act for Men

New Balancing Act for Men

By Matt Haug, David Jackson, Tony Wirz, and Alex Wolf

For most of us, college is a stepping-stone into the business world. While dreaming of future success, there is an important aspect that is often overlooked: the balance between your life at home and your life at work. 

Dr. Kristina Bourne from the Department of Management and Marketing conducts research related to gender and organizations. When asked about changes in gender roles since she first started researching the topic she had this to say, “It’s becoming more important as we live in a 24/7 world. We no longer work 9-5. One major change in our generation is that there is more shared responsibility at home. More men will be dealing with a shared workload at home.”

This shared workload has proven problematic for men due to the increased duties at home as well as the work place. In a recent poll from Time Magazine, seventy-five percent of men said they were concerned about keeping up with changing job skills in the form of technological advances.  Add the increasing number of employers providing cell phones for work allowing employees to stay in contact anywhere and at anytime, and the line between work and home becomes even more blurred.

The majority of men today are vastly more involved in the rearing of their children and maintenance of their households than their fathers ever were.  Seventy-two percent of men said they would sacrifice advancements at work to spend more time at home and sixty-six percent said they would risk being perceived poorly by a superior to ask for a month’s paternity leave. Even with this, men still aren’t working any less. Sixty-eight percent of men polled work more than 40 hours a week and sixty-two percent of those are working on weekends.

Although separation of work and home life is getting considerably more difficult, the ability to plan can make each day less stressful. Making certain portions of your week distraction free allows for a better home environment. Setting aside time to have a family meal or movie can help tremendously. CEO of Public Allies, Paul Schmitz, has created certain principles to separate his work and personal life. He says “I believe that the balance I try to strike makes me more effective. I have had some of my best insights and strategies emerge when I have been away from the office and unplugged from the day-to-day.”

As we all enter into the business world, balancing duties between work and home will become an essential part of having a successful life. Managing these two lives, and creating a clear line between the two, will not only minimize stress but improve the overall quality of life for ourselves and our families.

Alex Wolf Matt Haug Tony Wirz David Jackson

From left to right: Matt Haug is a senior marketing major from Lino Lakes, MN; David Jackson is a junior marketing major from Wausau, WI; Tony Wirz is a senior marketing major from Eau Claire, WI; and Alex Wolf is a senior marketing major from Green Bay, WI. They wrote this article for their BCOM Advanced Writing class.

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