Yesterday was Ireland's "Work Life Balance" day when employers and employees alike were urged to cooperate in achieving a better work-life balance in the face of the increasing demands of the working life.
I recently retired from a career which spanned almost 40 years and which was getting more stressful by the day. I worked in the public service which gets loads of stick from the media and others for being a "cushy number" [they can't sack you, they will always pay you, and they will give you a big pension when you retire]. Ironically a lot of this criticism comes from mega-buck media pundits who could do with putting in a little more work for their bucks instead of criticising others about whose working conditions they know next to nothing and care even less.
Public service careers in Ireland, and I assume elsewhere, have become more fraught over the years as more output is expected from often decreasing resources. This is aggravated by the indiscriminate use of runaway technologies. At the same time the whole process is becoming more transparent and subject to minute scrutiny through Freedom of Information legislation and the proliferation of Parliamentary Scrutiny Committees in addition to the traditional systems of Parliamentary Questions and debates and the ubiquitous "representations" (correspondence) from the public and other stakeholders. I am very much in favour of increased transparency, if only as a protection of the integrity of the public service in the longer run. However, servicing this transparency also requires more resources, and this is seldom taken into account.
You won't be surprised, therefore, to hear that I identified very much with the recent findings of Ciarán O'Boyle even though these referred specifically to senior management in global organisations. I've been at the global end of the business and time-zones play havoc with any attempt to organise work life balance.