Friday, November 1, 2019

On Work–Life Balance: An Infographic for Academics

For almost four decades, I have (mostly) enjoyed spending, on average, about 50 hours per week employed as an academic at one of the finest universities in Canada.  I couldn’t have expected a better job; I love it.  My infographic here lists the many interesting and rewarding expectations, obligations, and opportunities typical of a career like mine. 

But it has been busy, and getting busier.  Stress and anxiety are now reaching critical levels at post-secondary institutions everywhere — for both students and faculty.  Academics at every career stage are searching for ways to improve their quality of life

Thankfully though, ‘health and wellness’ has become the new slogan demanding increasing attention in virtually every segment of society — including where I work.  Earlier this year, my university principal added his signature to the ‘Okanagan Charter’ — a formal commitment to embedding health and wellness in campus culture. 

It seems to me that this represents de facto endorsement for some sensible adjustments in academia for scaling down conventional work hours — to something perhaps more typical of the ‘standard’ work week:  40 hours (including the ‘lunch hour’). 

For now at least, my colleagues at work are probably more likely than in the past to hear me say:  “Sounds good, and I’d like to be involved with that, ... but — sorry — there just aren’t enough hours in the day!”