Work-life balance is a popular topic on our site and at our company. We all work hard, but we don’t always keep rigid hours and we don’t always work “at the office.”  

Instead, we leverage technology that gives us the ability to successfully collaborate while working work remotely.   The technology also has the ancillary benefit of reducing our costs and increasing our operational efficiency –  and sometimes it’s just a lot more convenient.

Of course, there’s a potential trade-off.    E-mail, smart phones, web-based everything – they’re amazing tools that give us a lot more freedom while, paradoxically, having the potential to keep us tethered to the office 24/7. I remember first using e-mail myself in 1992, thinking about the incredible upside.  

At the time, I couldn’t even get most of my lawyer friends to try it for fun, let alone consider how less than 20 years later (not even a minor blip in time) it would become so pervasive that its overuse would evolve into a serious productivity obstacle.   Ray Kurzweil, anyone?

It’s amazing to be connected anytime, anywhere … and it can be ridiculously stressful to be connected anytime, anywhere.   That’s true especially for “Type A” folks, and there are more than a few lawyers who fit that profile.

Nigel Marsh is the Regional Group CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands for Austrailia & New Zealand, and the author of “Fat, Forty, and Fired” and “Overworked and Underlaid.”  A prominent exec, Marsh recently gave an interesting, personal TED talk on Work-Life balance issues.

According to Marsh:  people spend long, hard hours working a job they hate in order to get money to buy things they need to impress people they don’t like. Yikes.

Marsh sketches out his own perfect day and gives his own thoughts on what “balance” really means in the framework of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs.

It’s an interesting talk, and definitely a subject that will – pardon the pun – hit home with lawyers.