Series on Work-Life Balance: Doing something for ‘me’

If you find that you’re teetering dangerously close to being out-of-balance, consider rearranging your personal life by adopting some of the following things.

1. Exercise.- Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor-in-chief, plays tennis for one hour every day and Richard Branson stays active with kitesurfing. But if exercising brings thoughts of getting a root canal for you, no worries; Harvard-trained psychologist and best-selling author Shawn Achor says all it takes is 15 minutes of fun cardio activity per day. So ditch the gym for gardening or walking the dog. Juts remember: The effects of daily cardio can be as effective as taking an antidepressant.

2. Pick up a new hobby (or rediscover an old one)- Is there something enjoyable that you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t had the time to pursue? Or something that you absolutely love to do, but haven’t done in years? Need some ideas? Here are the hobbies of some of the world’s most successful people:

• Warren Buffett: Playing the ukulele.

• Aubrey K. McClendon, co-founder Chesapeake Energy: Wine collecting

• Michael Bloomberg: Skiing and golf.

• Peter Thiel, technology investor and former PayPal co-founder: Internet chess.

3. Do something fun for yourself- Don’t neglect “special time” with yourself. Science has found that people who have fun are more creative and productive, make better decisions, and get along better with colleagues. Daymond John, investor on the ABC reality series “Shark Tank,” spends weekends at his lakeside cabin in Dutchess County catching largemouth bass.

4. Find a faith that works for you- I speak of a faith–whatever your belief system–that comes from a deep spiritual connection with a power greater than yours. Billionaire Bill Gates told Rolling Stone that his family goes to Catholic Church, even though he admitted having his own doubts about God.

5. Take up meditation- Oprah Winfrey practices Transcendental Meditation. She sits in stillness for 20 minutes, twice a day. She says, “only from that space can you create your best work and your best life.” Setting aside this little ritual everyday during your spare time will make the rest of your week seem manageable. You’ll notice a difference and a weight come off your shoulders.

6. Give back to the community- A study conducted by Australia’s Fidelity Charitable Gift Trust found that 89 percent of entrepreneurs donate to charity. Entrepreneurs with a heart of service understand that the cycle of business, and life, should be about giving back and spreading the wealth to causes they believe in. Meet 7 entrepreneurs who love giving back.

7. Get together with mentors outside of work to learn something new- This takes humility, so check your ego at the door, and seek out sage advice from wise connections to improve a part of you that’s lacking, or to get some fresh perspective on something that is keeping you stuck. General Motor CEO Mary Barra is influenced by a network of them. She writes how mentors correctly advised her to take an HR role even though she was an engineer. “Different people see different aspects of us as we progress in our careers and handle the opportunities and challenges along the way,” said Barra in a LinkedIn post.

8. Go out on a date. Make it weekly for it to really count- Entrepreneur John Michael Morgan, best selling author of Brand Against The Machine, lets his wife have the floor to speak on the importance of dating. She writes in her husband’s blog, “schedule a date night right now and use that alone time to create or re-evaluate your vision. What do you want your lives to look like in the next 5, 10, 20-plus years?”

9. Don’t forget to spend quality time with your family- Make sure you’re always available for your loved ones, and never put the business over them. Even billionaire entrepreneurs have a home life. Shark Tank co-host Mark Cuban told a South by Southwest audience:”On the weekends we have [a nanny] in the morning, so Tiff and I go work out Saturday mornings. Then the rest of the weekend it’s just us. It’s us putting them to bed. It’s us at dinner. We try to be as normal as possible.”


Series on Work-Life Balance: Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook, a mother of two, and an outspoken advocate for women leaders. Here’s one more reason she rocks: she doesn’t pretend it’s easy. “So there’s no such thing as work-life balance. There’s work, and there’s life, and there’s no balance,” said Sandberg in an interview for the Makers series from PBS and AOL, The Huffington Post’s parent company.

The Facebook COO acknowledged the difficulties of being a working mother trying to juggle family responsibilities with a high power job. She also shared practical things women — and, importantly, men — can do to help women succeed in their careers and make a challenging situation work a bit better.

Women should choose a spouse who will support their ambitions, not only by offering words of encouragement, but by doing half of the work at home, from changing half of the diapers to doing half of the laundry, Sandberg advised.
Women face two key challenges men do not, Sandberg argued: they experience guilt for working full time, and the more they succeed, the less they’re liked.

“I feel guilty when my son says, ‘Mommy, put down the BlackBerry, talk to me’ and that happens far too much. I think all women feel guilty. I think what’s interesting is I don’t know many men who feel guilty,” Sandberg said. “I don’t know a lot of men who feel guilty for working full time, it’s expected that they’ll work full time…I wonder if there were more shared responsibility if more men would feel guilty too and women would feel less of it.”

Sandberg noted that for years she’s left work at 5:30 PM so she could be home for dinner with her children, but has only recently started saying so publicly. Her hope, she said, is that discussing it openly will encourage others to feel comfortable doing the same.

Helping women to reach their full potential requires the world to become more accepting of powerful and successful women, Sandberg argued, adding that women face a trade-off between success and likability that men do not. “A woman, if you’re most intelligent or most likely to succeed, that’s an embarrassing thing or something that’s not considered attractive, and that’s something we need to change,” said Sandberg.

The Facebook COO was herself voted “most likely to succeed” in high school. She forced the yearbook editor to bury the title and pick someone else for the award, she said. Sandberg added, “I want to tell any young girl out there who’s a geek, I was a really serious geek in high school. It works out. Study harder.”


Series on Work-Life Balance: Lothian and Borders Police

There has been a concentrated effort on the development of Work-Life Balance in the LBP or Lothian and Borders Police that employs approximately 2,600 police officers and 1,100 support staff. Its headquarters are in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. Its mission, central to policy development and operational goals, is “to prevent crime, keep the peace, protect and reassure the community, uphold the law firmly and fairly, and pursue and identify those who break the law.”

Donald Ramsay, the personnel services manager at LBP, explains that development of work-life balance programs to make workplace policies more user-friendly is now an important area of people management for a number of reasons. First, greater work is now requested from serving officers and support staff. Flexibility is also expected by new applicants, including women and minority groups, whom LBP is targeting in their recruitment drives. Secondly, the combined effects of more employment legislation and the high media profile of discrimination cases make it more important to avoid potential discrimination. Lastly, it is recognized that work-life balance policies should be applied consistently and that management style is highly significant in ensuring consistency.

Louise Parker joined LBP in 1997 as a full-time clerical assistant. After three years she began to think seriously about travelling. In March 2000, she requested a year off to travel; by June 2000 she was flying to Australia to explore Southeast Asia on her own. In taking what Mariana Forsyth, HR advisor, calls “the purest form of work-life balance” while someone else filled her job on a fixed-term contract, Parker returned to LBP 54 weeks later a completely different person. Her experience played a large part in changing her perspectives and developing her skills so she can bring added qualities to work. Learning about different cultures, challenging stereotypes, improving communication skills and developing self-confidence are all cited by Parker as part of her personal learning journey. While on her travels, Parker felt comfort knowing that there was a job to return to. During her career break, though, she received no employee benefits; in effect, a career break suspends an employment contract until resumption of the job.

Nearly a year after her return, Parker admits to still feeling that she is settling back into work, a process she has found “really difficult…I felt a lot of pressure on myself when I first came back as I had to relearn policies and basically how things work.” At the same time, however, she says she is absolutely committed to her job and strongly feels that she should give something back. Further, now promoted to a divisional personnel officer and studying part-time for a postgraduate diploma, she reports on having “a different and better perspective on how to deal with people.” Several colleagues and Ramsay testify to the positive change in Parker due to her wider life experience. Ramsay firmly believes that Parker is a success story that has benefited the Department and Force.

With regard to the more general organizational effects of work-life balance, Ramsay asserts that there is now “a much greater awareness of work-life balance throughout the force; staff realize we will try to accommodate flexible working.”


Series on Work-Life Balance: Scottish Court Service

In this write up on Work-Life Balance read how the Scottish Court Service a government organization, has incorporated work-life balance measures to create a congenial work environment.

The Scottish Court Service (SCS) comprises 52 court sites and employs approximately 1,000 civil servants.

According to SCS Human Resource Director Alan Swift, SCS has always been enlightened in its human resource policies. However, it was not until 1998 and ’99 that SCS started to get serious about work-life balance. Discussions with the Public and Commercial Services Union over paternity leave, the loss of some key staff (in particular women, who comprise 57 percent of the workforce), competition for recruiting quality staff, and an internal exploration about what it meant to work for the service all contributed to the new focus on work-life balance policies and practice. The most important of these factors was the loss of female staff, who said they were leaving because they were unable to reconcile their work and family commitments.

Today, SCS offers a variety of such arrangements, which, according to Chief Executive John Ewing, “help people to give their best at work” and improve staff retention. The new arrangements also signal to current and potential employees that they are valued and treated well in the organization.

The SCS developed the work-life balance policies and procedures using a participative approach including the involvement of all staff. The birth of his third child five years ago was a life-changing event for Joe Smith, then an executive officer at Dumbarton Sheriff Court. Smith’s daughter, Rebecca, was born with a complex heart disease and not expected to live. However, against the odds and after 13 operations which started when she was three days old, Rebecca is now in the first year of elementary school. She has spent about 18 months of her life in the hospital and faces a heart-lung transplant operation at some point in the future.

“From the word go, the managers at SCS supported us,” explains Smith. While Smith and his wife were coping with their daughter’s fragility for the first 18 months of her life, Smith tried to manage work. For a time after he was promoted to the Stirling Sheriff Court, he was driving 84 miles a day from home to work and Rebecca’s hospital. Realizing this situation was not sustainable—and even dangerous—Joe contacted Swift. Smith’s wife, then a court officer in Dunbarton Sheriff Court, was immediately granted extended special leave, and Smith special leave. Smith also accessed the SCS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for private counselling on managing his daughter’s problems. This service is public-sector (general taxpayer) funded, so it is free to SCS employees though it is privately run on a contract basis. The aim is to help employees deal with any issues that affect their performance and/or attendance at work. As Smith explains, he “began to see the benefits and let them help…it was almost like instant relief, trusting in the policies and the people.” So important was this help that he said he should have done it sooner.

Now in Glasgow Sheriff Court and promoted to higher executive officer, Smith cannot praise the handling of his circumstances highly enough: “All the managers have supported me, and it’s two-way.” Smith speaks highly of the support he, his wife and family received from SCS. Their exceptional circumstances speak to the value of work-life balance arrangements in this organization. Ewing also testifies to the benefits of work-life balance initiatives: “in a pressurized work environment, work-life balance programs signal the value of staff, they can also reduce stress and allow staff to keep contributing at work.”

The SCS currently has a committee, which includes employees who have primary responsibility for caring for dependents, that is focusing on the dimensions of care issues other than childcare (for example, elder care). It is also considering surveying employees about their opinions of SCS’ work-life balance policies during the next staff opinion survey.


Series on Work-Life Balance – The IKEA way

IKEA is a Swedish home furnishing retailer that sells well-designed, functional furniture. IKEA has over 150 stores in more than 20 countries around the world. IKEA’s Swedish heritage is important in the company, as demonstrated by its training of staff on Swedish culture. The Swedish national values of commitment to, and time with, family and community, combined with concern for a healthy environment, are strongly reflected in IKEA’s organizational culture and management practices.

The above values can be seen in IKEA’s strategic approach that acknowledges work-life balance, to its recognition of the importance of coffee breaks in a pleasant environment for all staff for social interaction. Work-life balance extends naturally from the company’s Swedish cultural roots and its “priority of focusing on co-workers to develop the corporate culture,” according to Anders Dahlvig, IKEA president. Work-life balance is expressed, for instance, in paid days off for all staff for first day of school leave, marriage leave and “moving house leave”.

It is also expressed in the following areas of existing work-life balance offerings, including flex-time (variation in start and finish times); full-time and part-time work; special shift arrangements (for example, early shifts only); non-standard work weeks (for example, longer but fewer work days per week); emergency leave (for a domestic crisis like a flooding); public/community service leave (such as working on a public service board); leave for caring for dependents; parental leave; sick children leave; information about childcare; employee assistance programs; information and advice on work-life balance; and health promotion.

One example of combining national and organizational cultures is the health promotion program in IKEA’s Glasgow store. In addition to subsidized healthy meals from the large and popular public cafeteria, all employees can take advantage of free podiatry (medical foot care) and massage sessions during work time. Burgess believes it is important that “co-workers generally see IKEA as investing a lot in them—and the feedback we get suggests they do.” Offering podiatry and massages relates in particular to the physical nature of much of the work, with staff often working on their feet and wearing protective boots. Doing physical work is not the exclusive preserve of shop floor staff; departmental and senior managers all help when needed.

Business Controller David Montgomerie has taken advantage of the chiropody service. This was a new experience for him and although his initial motivation was the novelty value and curiosity, he now believes promotion of health awareness and general fitness is very important. One of Montgomerie’s team is Abigail Jones, an IT specialist. Jones has also used the chiropody service, a first for her. “It’s a good perk…IKEA is obviously interested in the well-being of staff and are very people– oriented.” Stephanie Miller, a young part-time employee who works on the shop floor, believes that “health promotion to encourage a healthy lifestyle is a good idea and fun as well.” She did not expect such services, but can see that they are valuable.

On an individual level, work-life balance programs help people balance work with other life factors. Burgess notes that “in some cases it can offer the opportunity to experience something new and benefit from it.” In organizational terms, work-life balance is a “win-win situation.” According to Burgess, it increases morale and commitment by improving psychological contracts and gives “something tangible to staff so they perceive IKEA as a caring company that they enjoy working for.”


Series on Work-Life Balance – Job-Sharing

Motorola, founded in 1928 in the U.S., currently employs more than 100,000 people worldwide. A variety of work-life balance arrangements are offered, many of which are long established throughout the company. One such unique measure is that of ‘job-sharing’. Read on to see how this has benefited scores of people with special working needs.

Motorola offers all kinds of work arrangements that include part-time work; dependency leave; an employee assistance program (EAP); job sharing; health care; special shift arrangements (non-standard shifts); study leave (time off work to complete sections for formal qualifications); and emergency holidays (when annual leave needs to be taken for non-holiday time). Moyra Withycombe, the human resource operations manager at the East Kilbride location, explains that they are offered as part of being a premier employer and to attract high-caliber people, then recognize and reward them. This fits with Motorola’s philosophy of balancing life and work, which has contributed to the company’s high rating in America’s 100 Best Corporate Citizen award lists for environment, community and employment practices.

In 2000, there was a major change in work hours at the East Kilbride plant. The change was intended to standardize shifts throughout the whole organization. Today, full-time Motorola operators work seven 12-hour shifts over a two-week period, on the basis of four days one week, and three days the next. When the work hours were changed, employees were offered job sharing, either on the day or night shifts. Job sharing means that two people share a full-time job between them, splitting equally the number of hours worked. Though not commonplace, it has been an occasional practice in the U.K. for some years, mainly in the public-service sector.

Mary McDonald, a single parent with two children, applied for a job-share on the day shift. She felt the full-time shift pattern was too onerous given her family situation. In making her written application to the Human Resource department, she gave her personal and operational reasons. Her application was successful and, matched with her job partner, Heather Chalmers, she works in the wafer fabrication production area. McDonald says this system “has worked very well” for her. “I’m full of energy for the days I work — Motorola gets 100 percent from me.” She is extremely positive about job sharing, “especially for people with families…it is very good for family life.”

Alistair Reid, a manufacturing section manager, concurs. He also highlights that Motorola East Kilbride hosts 120 job sharers and explains that they are all included in feedback sessions and the annual reviews conducted to assess the effectiveness of partnerships. He stresses that “the transition to new shift patterns, including job share, allowed us to retain key skills and avoid external recruitment.”

Neil McKinven, a senior line manager, believes that job share plays a high-profile role for the East Kilbride Motorola plant to remain competitive and to meet their performance metrics in the face of stiff global competition. In particular, he notes that “job share allowed us to retain our pool of highly qualified and well-trained talent.” Job share, McKinven explains, “created a different management dimension in developing supporting procedures, such as procedures for holiday and absence cover.” These procedures have been refined over time and now function smoothly.

Motorola plans to have ongoing reviews of job-sharing practices, together with evaluation of the business effects.


Series on Work-Life Balance – ‘To make money and have fun’

W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. is a global, privately held company headquartered in Newark, Delaware. It employs approximately 8,000 employees (called associates) in more than 45 locations worldwide. Gore is known not just for its innovative products, but also for its innovative business style (Gore’s written business objective is “To make money and have fun”).

Founded by a husband-and-wife team in 1958, W.L. Gore & Associates manufacturing operations are clustered in the U.S., Germany, Japan, China and Scotland. Gore strives to create a unique corporate culture. Quite simply, the culture is driven, according to co-founder Bill Gore, from the need to “foster the creativity and initiative that contribute to technical development.”

It is this corporate culture that integrates and enables work-life balance at W.L. Gore. Ann Gillies, an HR associate in Scotland, believes Gore operates fairly and that associates are not managed but instead manage themselves by being fair, meeting commitments and consulting others as appropriate. Consequently there are very few company policies, procedures or rules; practices develop naturally and do not need to be framed in policies.

There are no policies and procedures, therefore, that explicitly relate to work-life balance. However, the company’s approach to work-life balance can be seen in its approach to working hours. Working hours, according to Gillies, are central to Gore’s approach. There are no set working hours; “people make commitments… they are never imposed and people keep to their commitments.” Gillies continues, “Personal and family responsibilities are okay—people have no need to explain if they are not going to be at work, but tend to anyway because we are fair to each other.”

When commitments require staffing for specific hours, the team in that area decide individuals’ hours of work. Some people choose to work from home, and office attendance is recorded only for fire safety. The need to work long hours can arise, as it did for one associate, Ben Stewart, currently a leader, when he was involved in a global project requiring him to spend large amounts of time in the U.S. When a change in his home circumstances arose, Stewart evaluated the time he spent travelling and reduced it significantly by using videoconferencing and conference calls.

It is widely believed that Gore’s corporate culture which encourages a healthy worklife balance directly contributes to the award-winning success the company has long enjoyed. John Kennedy, a Gore leader and senior associate in Scotland in traditional, external business terms, underlines this belief. He says, “Our culture and principles drive very high performance from individuals and teams, who are empowered and results-oriented with a strong ‘can-do’ attitude.”

Gillies acknowledges that “sometimes it feels like it would be easy and certainly quicker to direct, but in the long-term, we know that doesn’t work.” She is emphatic that “because we are not telling people what to do and when to be here, there is more chance work is going to be done better. Associates buy into what the company stands for, so the quality of input and decisions is better.”

Gore’s approach to work-life balance contributes to its repeatedly being included in Fortune magazine’s best companies list. Continuing to develop associates is seen as central to sustaining the corporate culture and principles that foster work-life balance at W.L. Gore.


Series on Work-life Balance: What defines it

With more of us wanting and expecting our jobs to provide not just a paycheck but also human needs like learning, community, and a sense of purpose, we wanted to know what specifically makes people happy at work. Is it fair pay and benefits? Having a great boss? A clear career path? Opportunities to learn? Working at an organization with a clear sense of purpose? These are all the kinds of things that HR managers and talent developers obsess over, and also the sorts of questions people ask themselves when they’re deciding between job offers: Should I work at Company A, where I’d have better benefits but a worse commute, or Company B, which does important work but doesn’t pay very well?

To figure out what really matters to employees, Happify Inc recently carried out a survey to get a clearer picture using their Happify App. Users engage in various behavioral activities, including gratitude exercises, in which they’re asked to write about things they appreciate and value in their lives. Such exercises have been empirically shown to increase well-being by allowing people to recognize the good things in their lives and the reasons they matter. Their data science team analyzed the anonymized data to uncover elusive measures of work satisfaction.

As a first step, they extracted 200 different topics from the entire text coming from Happify users who were asked to “Jot down three things that happened today or yesterday that made you feel grateful.” Based on the way this question is phrased, they expected to get a glimpse into the things that people recognize and value on a daily basis. Of the 200 topics that were extracted, they identified 14 that prominently featured words that are work-related and were used frequently. The primary themes these topics covered were general job satisfaction, commute and work breaks, positive peer interaction, having time off, achieving high work performance, benefits and compensation, and interviewing and landing a new job.

We noticed that overall job satisfaction followed a U-shaped curve: starting high, dipping in one’s forties and fifties, and then going back up as retirement approaches. The U-shape is expected, and validates prior research. When we zoomed in on different age groups, we noticed that different things are more important at different stages in a person’s career.

• This detailed analysis showed that around ages 25–34 there is a peak of gratitude for topics related to landing a new job, positive work relationships, and external work conditions, such as an easy commute, breaks, or time off.

• For ages 35–44 they saw a decline in gratitude in several areas, particularly work-life balance, time off, and pay. It may be that around this age people are overwhelmed by responsibilities and expenses, and thus aren’t feeling particularly grateful.

• A different pattern emerges starting in one’s late fifties, showing a peak of gratitude for topics related to finances and benefits. We can speculate that at that age people value getting their finances on track for their upcoming retirement, and so are less occupied with new opportunities, their job performance, or having more time off.

Taking a step back to put these findings in perspective, it seems that early on in one’s career, people appreciate a job that will bring future benefits as they continue to perform. The present job may not be ideal, as one tries to balance hard work with enough time to play. In midlife things get generally tougher: It’s harder to balance work and life, and people struggle to make ends meet. But as one gets older, one begins to be more satisfied with one’s present job and also to have more resources to achieve personal aspirations.

The bottom line: Satisfaction at work is influenced by factors such as benefits, pay, relationships, and commute length. But all of this boils down to two things being important, regardless of your circumstances: (1) having a life outside of work, and (2) having the money to afford it. If you have a job that grants you both of these, you might be happier than you realize.


Series on Work-Life Balance: Warren Buffet way

Who hasn’t heard of Warren Buffet? American business magnate, investor and philanthropist. A man considered by many to be one of the most successful investors in the world and as of March 2017, the second wealthiest person in the United States with a total net worth of 78.7 billion dollars. Considering that signing multi-million dollar deals are common place for him, how does Buffet manage to balance family time with the exigencies of running a high profile business…read on.

Buffet has been the chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway since 1970, and his business exploits have had him referred to as the Oracle of Omaha by global media outlets.

Buffet has been considered by many, not just budding entrepreneurs, as a guru. His words of wisdom, as many successful individuals will tell you, have been keys to success in both business and in life. Take for example this gem of a story that came to light in the recent insider trading trial of former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta.

Former Goldman banker Byron Trott, a long time Buffet confidant, was asked to testify in front of a Manhattan federal court jury about a deal between Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffet during the financial crises era of 2008.

This deal was at the height of the 2008 financial crises and was a make or break deal for the world famous and historic Goldman Sachs Group. Nearing bankruptcy, the deal would lead to Buffet making an investment to the tune of 5 billion dollars into the company and would be the key to survival for the company.

Now, considering the stakes and the importance of this deal, you would expect anyone to drop whatever they are doing and work towards making sure that the deal went without hiccups. But Warren Buffet is no ordinary man.

As Trott went on to narrate, on the day that the deal was meant to be finalized, everything had been readied and all parties involved were only waiting for Buffet to join them for the meeting. They had been trying to reach him since the morning to wrap up the deal. However, Buffet was not available till 2:30 in the afternoon. The reason? He was taking his kids out for ice cream.

Yes, Buffet had kept a multi-billion, historic deal on hold so that he could keep a promise made to his grandkids and was enjoying ice cream with them at dairy-queen. Another life lesson on how to manage the perfect harmony between life and work by the Oracle of Omaha.

Series on Work-Life Balance – Can do people

The following are two true stories of successful entrepreneurs which prove that work-life balance is not a myth. The perfect balance just requires some good old planning and of course extra dollops of enthusiasm…

Can Do Couple – The only thing better than a good work-life balance story is a good work-life balance love story. Enter Brian and Beth Whitfield, an entrepreneurial power couple based in Southern California, for whom work and love are inextricably tied.

The Whitfields are the proud owners of four businesses — two hair salons, a consulting firm and a coin dealership. But long before they became business owners, the Whitfields were learning to juggle their love for each other with a need to pay the bills. Brian, an ex-Marine, worked three part-time jobs while studying to earn his college degree. Beth also worked three part-time jobs, seven days a week, to help support him. You might think these hard-working folks would want to take a break after all that hustle, but the Whitfields are not the type to settle down.

In addition to helping run the couple’s four businesses, Brian teaches part time at Ashford University in Iowa. He also hosts a weekly radio show called “Financial Fortress” and writes a daily blog. Beth works full time at her two salons, is a national beauty educator and also serves as a stylist for fashion shows, special events and photo shoots. Despite their crazy schedules, the couple says they always make sure to reconnect at the end of each workday.

Do-it-all Doctor- When Stephen Schleicher, a doctor at one of Boston’s busiest hospitals, decided to open his own business, he didn’t quit his day job. In fact, he did quite the opposite — he kept working and enrolled as a graduate student in a competitive MBA program.

Schleicher, 31, is the epitome of a fast-paced entrepreneur. When he isn’t covering long shifts at the hospital, he’s attending first-year classes at Harvard Business School or working on building his startup business, Boxxify.

Boxxify is a package-delivery service that caters to people with superbusy schedules. The company delivers packages between 7 p.m. and midnight, so 9-to-5 professionals don’t have to worry about having their packages stolen off the front porch or returned to sender.

But having a full-time job, being a student and owning his own company make up only one side of Schleicher’s awe-inspiring work-life balance story. Not satisfied with just nurturing a burgeoning business, this go-getter also decided to start a family.

Schleicher and his wife, Magda, recently welcomed their first child who, if she’s anything like her father, is likely very hard to keep up with. But the do-it-all doctor isn’t balking at this newest responsibility. In fact, it’s the support of his family — along with the competency and understanding of his many co-workers — that makes his daily juggling act possible, Schleicher said.