By Carey Goryl, Executive Director, ASPR
As we near the end of summer, I hope you’ve had some time to unwind, create meaningful memories, and reflect. The next educational cycle is about to begin and so many of our routines change because of it. Whether you have children, work in an academic system or not, all of us experience the increase in traffic that happens in September. Ugh…traffic!
Nowadays, I would do most anything to rearrange my schedule, albeit my life, to avoid traffic. I see it as the ultimate time waster. I’m of Generation X which is known for its focus on being “efficient, smart, adaptable, honest, transparent and trustworthy.” At least, according to Seth Mattison who spoke at the 2016 ASPR Annual Conference this past spring in New Orleans.
He spoke about these characteristics in the context of communication and values about work. He acknowledged that as a profession, physician recruitment professionals hear over and again about the desire from physicians to have work-life balance, mostly from Generation X and Millennial physicians. For Millennials, the words to most commonly describe their values around work are “genuine, accessible, relatable, informal and dependable,” as also described by Mattison. Regardless of what year you were born, it is now the year 2016 for all of us…and don’t we all want more work-life balance?
For the Baby Boomer generation, work was a place you went to do a job. Work was about production, climbing the ladder, hierarchy, rules, and face-time. That is why Baby Boomers are most often described as “respectful, professional, excellent follow-through, loyal and thorough.” For many people, the headache of traffic is a means to an end to get work done. But for the newest professional generation, work and the rest of life are completely merged. Work is about a system of networks and connections and a fluidness that allows one to switch from professional to personal and back again.
For the 70 percent of companies that now allow telework or remote work, it is becoming more socially acceptable to say one “works from home” and not be seen as the lazy employee who is actually doing their laundry all the time. But in Mattison’s presentation he flipped the phrase and asked, why isn’t it okay to “home from work”? I was struck by this perspective-switch in its simplicity, yet felt the heaviness of what it meant and how far “work” still needs to evolve. It also makes me pause to reflect on how ASPR can help its members achieve more work-life balance.
As you read this issue of JASPR, I hope you enjoy it…whether you read it from your office at work or at home (whatever you do—don’t read this while in traffic!) Enjoy!