By: Malati Siniah
Work-life balance as defined in the Oxford Dictionary is ‘the division of one’s time and focus between working and family or leisure activities’, however with the demands of work and the accessibility of technology many find the concept of work-life balance to be a myth.
In countries such as Japan reports of workers dying of overwork is not uncommon and even in Malaysia, this problem is very real. In a survey conducted by AIA Vitality last year, 53% of Malaysian employees reported at least one dimension of work-related stress and 12% experienced high levels of anxiety or depression.
So how does one walk the tightrope of between work and family life?
A day ahead of International Women’s Day we asked the fearless female leads of the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM), who make up 33% of the company’s leadership team, on what work-life balance means to them….
“Being able to walk into work without the stress of home and walking into your home without the stress of work, that to me is having work-life balance. This is the principle I follow and the advice I give to my staff so that they come to work happy”
-Tariqua Amina Jaffar,
Head of Department, International Business & New Ventures
“To be honest I never really thought of term work-life balance, to me work and personal life is a constant juggling act as things are evolving every day. What keeps me going is the passion that I have for the work I do which motivates and most importantly keeps me happy coming to work daily”
-Nor Ruhaida Haron
“To me, it’s being able to achieve your career goals while at the same time not having to neglect your family time. How you can achieve this is understanding the goals and objectives of your employer and strategise your personal roadmap around that. At the heart of this is using your time effectively. It is key to have an internal timeline to ensure that work is delivered on time and you need not rush.”
– Santhia Dorasamy,
Senior Manager, Human Resources & Administration
“As women, we take on many roles – provider, sister, daughter the list goes on. To me having work-life balance is being able to stay happy while taking on each role”
– Isabell Zubinsha Melvin,
Manager, Secretariat of the Asian Association of Management Organisations (AAMO)
“Work-life balance to me it’s all about prioritizing. One way of how I do this is through having a daily to-do list and from there identifying the priority items that I should first focus on. You see at the end of the day it’s not about managing your time, it’s about managing your work”
“Balance means having space and time to rejuvenate so I can come back to work inspired and stay motivated to perform better at what I do”
Assistant Manager, Membership
“Take time to do what makes your soul happy and don’t stop until you’re proud! My family is my rock, you see having a successful career is not an accomplishment but having a great family who supports you through your ups and down, now that’s important. Coming from a small family we always make sure that we don’t take each other for granted, constantly doing things together and celebrating when we can. Having a great circle of friends you can count on is an added bonus too!”
Head Northern Region
In conjunction with International Women’s Day MIM will be conducting a special CPD talk on how you can achieve work-life balance by Datin Dr Hasnorliza Abu Hassan or Datin Leez, a powerhouse within the local SME scene. The talk will take place this Friday (9th March) at MIM’s new office at Level 16, PJ33.
A powerful advocate for work-life balance and women empowerment Datin Leez’s main priority is her 5 children followed by the 3 successful businesses that she runs- consultancy business ADLA Group, clothing line Leezarra and premium dry cleaning service, Sparkleen.
During this interactive talk you will have the opportunity of learn practical skills on achieving work-life balance and network with this successful entrepreneur. This talk is open to anyone looking to improve personal productivity. Tickets are free for MIM Members and RM50 for Non-Members.