SOURCE: Dr. WorkLife

November 18, 2008 13:45 ET

Dr. WorkLife Says New First Lady In Sync With Smart Business

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - November 18, 2008) - Michelle Obama's recent statements indicating her intent to focus on work-life balance policies may be exactly what businesses need to face the coming economic downturn. And in a sign that the time is ripe for such a focus, the best-of-breed businesses are already heading in this direction.

"Smart businesses know their employees are in for some hard days ahead, and they are already taking steps," says Paul Baffes, Ph.D., of Dr. WorkLife. "What's new, and really encouraging, is to see a convergence of political and business thinking on work-life happening at the same time."

Not everyone would make the immediate connection between a recession and a rise in corporate interest in work-life balance. The opposite reaction is typically more common. The difference this time is that employees were at a breaking point long before the recession became big news. Over a year ago, in October of 2007, a WorldAtWork survey found for the first time that stress was the primary reason employees were quitting their jobs. "Everyone was already working 50 to 60 hour weeks," says Baffes, "and now, suddenly, they are faced with the prospect of having to do even more."

Interestingly, there appears to be a growing acknowledgement that working longer hours is no longer a viable solution. Inquiries at Dr. WorkLife are up since the financial meltdown. "We've seen a surge in corporate interest since October," says Baffes. The reason may be that Dr. WorkLife training results in an average of 10% improvement in productivity, 30% improvement in retention, and 60% improvement in innovation. "I can understand companies not being too worried about retention in the current environment, but who would turn down a 10% productivity improvement or 60% more innovation?"

Who indeed. The flip side of any period of turmoil is opportunity, and the companies, and countries, that recognize it are the ones who end up stronger and more competitive. New political leadership that equates higher productivity with working smarter, not working longer, could be the key to helping America emerge from this period as more competitive instead of less. "I've been concerned for a while now that most of the new studies and results in work-life have been happening outside the U.S.," says Baffes. "Now, more than ever, we need increased performance. We just have to get past the outmoded idea that killing ourselves is the only way to get there."


Dr. WorkLife provides training and consulting to create sustainable long-term work-life solutions for professionals and corporations. Paul Baffes, Ph.D., the founder of Dr. WorkLife, is a coach, speaker, and consultant who has helped thousands world wide to address their work-life needs, using principles he developed over a 20-year career in a wide variety of business settings. Typical benefits from Dr. WorkLife training include a 10% increase in productivity, a 30% increased in retention, and a 60% increase in innovation. The Dr. WorkLife techniques have been tested and proven effective in over 13 countries and are being rolled out world-wide by some of the largest corporations in the Fortune 500. For more information, see our website at, watch our video at, download our brochure at, get our book at, or contact us at

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