When I started working thiry something years ago, the phrase 'work life balance' didn't exist. In recent years, though, it has become part of everyday work place parlance.
But now, the phrase is being replaced by a new term - 'the work life blend'. There is a growing recognition by many young people that, particularly in the current employment market, hard work is an absolute requirement. Few bosses will tolerate a less than committed approach.
What good bosses should understand, though, is that people need to work AND run their lives too. And so staff are increasingly looking for the flexibility to do occasional things during the day that are not work related. It might be going to the gym at 3 pm to avoid the crowds; it could be working from home one morning when the plumber is due.
Of course there is the recognition that the time will need to be made up at the beginning or end of the day but in a recent survey by the AICPA in New York, the value that staff members attached to flexible working patterns was very significant - in many cases higher than monetary reward.
There may be high unemployment - but the war for exceptional talent is still there. Professional firms need to take on board the importance of the 'work life blend'.
James Mendelssohn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CEO, MSI Global Alliance