is one of America's most sought-after speakers because she uses lessons from 300 famous leaders she interviewed for her eight bestselling books
1. What is the number one reason for work/life imbalance that you see most often?
FG: This is one crazy world that moves way too fast. It's easy to lose perspective on your priorities, giving too much of your "self" to work and other obligations. Social media and electronics are such horrible time vampires that suck out your time and your life. It is hard to have "balance" in life, but it isn't hard to have "harmony" with your inner self. It's not about balance. It is about choices. Unless you consistently take stock and ask if you are honouring your true priorities and values, it is very, very easy to fall out of harmony.
2. What workplace practices do you see as most beneficial for reaching the balance?
FG: Some companies are helpful with flex time and working at home. Others make it clear that you are allowed to have a home life — and don't balk when you need to be home for a sick child or go to a soccer game. There are many creative things companies are doing. Find one that as a culture that allows you to have a full and meaningful life.
3. What's your view on new technologies (telecommuting, remote collaboration, etc)? Do they generally make workers happier, because they enable people to work from anywhere or do they increase stress level, because you become reachable 24/7?
FG: That's a double-edged sword. Yes, you can work remotely and be home in your pajamas with the dog at your side, but technology makes it possible for you to work 24 hours a day. Seriously, you can work 24 hours and still have more you could do. It IS a problem that you can be reached 24/7, but that problem exists for almost every employee these days. Whether you are home-based or sitting at a desk, you are likely checking your e-mail after hours. Remote jobs aren't a free-pass to independence, because technology makes it hard to turn off the work. You have to be able to set boundaries and let the work go whether you are working remotely or at a desk.
4. Can you share any tips and techniques for business leaders who want their subordinates to live a balanced life?
FG: The biggest thing is to set the tone. Make it clear that you want people to have real lives and be open to their suggestions for making the situation beneficial for them AND the company. Many people fear asking for what they need and wind up leaving their companies. Leaders should keep the dialogue open so they can avoid that attrition.
5. Please share any links to resources for our readers who what to stay productive without becoming workaholics
FG: My new book, Work-Life Reset
, is all about this subject. The point is that your most valuable asset is your time, so you can't throw it away without consciously deciding to do so. It's hard to change the mindset that creates an out-of-balance lifestyle, but you get one shot at this life. Don't blow it by handing your calendar over to other people. It is YOUR life, your time, your experience. Find a life that honours who you are and what you value. Work-Life Reset is all about how to make the changes that allow that to happen.
Thank you for the interview.