15 responses

  1. John
    April 19, 2012

    The problem with many Healthcare IT jobs is that they work for organizations that are open 24/7. This means that you have to provide support 24/7. Although, not all healthcare IT jobs are this way. I worked for a clinic that basically worked 8-5 and so I worked the same hours with few exceptions. Now as a blogger I still try to keep the 8-5 as well. I think it’s important.

    One of my favorite books on entrepreneurship talks about the value of having a life outside of your business. I think this is true for any job. Having a life outside of your regular job provides some much needed perspective and insight which makes you better at your job.

    The key for Hospital CIO’s is to find people they trust and then trust them. Then, going home at 5 isn’t such a bad thing.

  2. Deb
    April 19, 2012

    I was at the conference and have a couple of comments I wanted to share.

    1. When did work/life balance become a requirement? For those of us who our work is like play, we may enjoy putting in the extra hours. However, I do not expect my team to work more than 40.

    2. It’s difficult to do everything at once. When I was younger I tried to do everything at once and by myself. It is quite difficult. It is much easier for me to work longer hours now than when I was married and had children at home. Now that I am single and have adult children, I would often rather work longer hours. This doesn’t mean I don’t have a life outside of work, it’s not “balanced” just as it was not “balanced” at other times in my life where my family and social obligations demanded more time that I could devote to my career.

    As I tell the younger people I mentor: You can have it all (or most of it) but is difficult and/or expensive to try to have it all at once.

    Deb

    PS 45-50 hours per week at my current job is a walk in the park compared to working 7pm to 7:30 am (or later) in a neonatal intensive care unit, raising two kids and being a military wife.

  3. John
    April 19, 2012

    Deb,
    Work life balance has always mattered. The key is that everyone’s balance is different for all the reasons you state (family situation, how much you enjoy your job, etc.). Plus, a lot of people have always been out of balance and so they’ve never known any difference.

  4. Heather G Miller, LCSW
    April 22, 2012

    I also was very fortunate in my last job, which provided much flexibility. I rarely was in the office past 5p, but I made myself available nights & weekends to read release notes, respond to requests for help etc. I think the distinguishing factor is being asked or demanded by an employer to work extra/flexible hours rather than volunteering to do so, especially if this isn’t discussed prior to hire.

  5. Priya
    April 23, 2012

    Interesting topic, Jennifer. I actually work for one such company, where during my interview my present manager actually told me she didn’t want people that didn’t have a life beyond work.

    We routinely have 9a-5p (or in my case 8a-4p) work days. There are one off days when we do have to login remotely and put in extra hours. But I have had more fun at this one job than any place else in my career.

  6. Carol
    April 30, 2012

    I think this becomes a personal decision, and requires management support of your work quality and ethic regardless of the length of hours as long as appropriate coverage is met. I was proud of Sandberg for broaching the topic. If we were in Europe we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but then again Europe isn’t exactly blowing the world away in technology productivity or innovation these days either.

  7. Anonymous
    November 21, 2012

    I think for those working in the healthcare industry, it indeed hard to leave work by that time. I mean there can no fixed working schedules.

  8. Dalton
    February 17, 2013

    I try to make it a point to leave the office on time everyday. Try, being the keyword. Fortunately, I have the option of going in later, or leaving earlier, however I am always connected.

  9. NoHorseInThisRace
    February 19, 2013

    I’m on the sales side supporting healthcare organizations and thus healthcare IT professionals. I can attest that in many cases there is little “balance” in the work-life equation.

    My company’s policy is a 7-4 work day, but I choose to make myself available to my customers at all hours. Folks who support healthcare organizations deserve an equal level support. My policy means I’ll likely never have a balance either, but that’s the nature of the industry today and I’ve accepted that.

  10. John Lynn
    February 19, 2013

    I’ve liked the recent discussions that I’ve seen happening that shift away from work life balance to work life integration. When you’re doing something you love, then having work an integral part of your life is not a bad thing. It’s doing something you love.

  11. Kellyn Pot’Vin
    March 25, 2013

    I am a remote, Sr. Technical Consultant and have a healthcare provider as a client. I find them excellent to work with and as one of for clients I support, I’ve never found them any more demanding of my after hours time. I work from home and work 40 hr’s per week for my employer and another in support of my local user group, presenting at conferences and now working with WIT programs. I believe work-life balance has much to do with the good company you keep. Extra hours one week pays forward to less on a week I may have family responsibilities/appointments. We should view it as a partnership ensuring each employee being their best and the employer in turn supporting what drives each employee.

  12. Jennifer Dennard
    March 26, 2013

    Kellyn, I completely agree with you regarding “extra hours one week pays forward to less on a week filled with family responsibilities/appointments.” Employers that recognize the necessity of work/life balance will ultimately reap the benefit of more productive employees. That’s been my experience, at least.

  13. Dan Tharp
    April 12, 2013

    It’s not about HOW MANY hours, what times, and etc.
    It’s about “balance” and balance is a very personal thing.
    I obviously require the minimum (40 hours per week/80 hours per 2-week pay period), but am very flexible about how those hours are spread out across the pay period.
    Some days are high (projects, down-times, etc)…..some days are low (sick kids, school conferences, doctor appointments, etc).
    The important thing to remember is that employees are PEOPLE and they have lives outside of work….and to the extent you forget that and/or take advantage of that by over-asking of them, the sooner they’ll leave and the sooner you’ll miss their experience and knowledge.

    Most of my team puts in MORE than they’re asked to…because their work environment is rewarding and satisfying and they WANT to…..but when someone goes TOO FAR out, putting in too many hours, I warn them that they’ll become fatigued and burned out and become less and less of an asset to the team and they’ll be doing more harm than good.

    Again, it’s a balance…and there’s NO magic answer.

    It’s completely fluid and entirely dependent on each team member.
    And if you don’t KNOW a team member and you don’t KNOW their “balance”…then you’re forgetting that they’re a person and your not remembering to VALUE them….and in my humble opinion, you’re not being a good manager.

  14. Alexander Grijalva
    April 14, 2013

    It is hard to work 9-to-5 when you work for a large health network. I work at NewYork-Presbyterian and I work long hours and sometimes weekends. It isn’t expected of me, and my bosses don’t demand extra hours. Rather, I care about the hospital and the services we provide. And it is a 24/7 operation that requires a team effort to sustain. So I always ensure I do my work, and look at ways of adding value to my team and to the hospital. Again, it is my choice. I have a family, and NYP and my bosses give me great flexibility to spend time with my kids, to be a parent. I consider myself fortunate. It isn’t easy, but at the end of the day I know I am helping NYP improve public health. I am sure others in other health care institutions feel similarly.

  15. John Lynn
    April 14, 2013

    Alexander,
    It’s people like you that make healthcare great. Thanks for the extra effort you put in on behalf of patients.

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