The lack of balance between work and personal life is getting worse.\n\n\nIt\u2019s not that some people aren\u2019t trying, but the workload and the\n\ninability to truly get away from work are driving more businesspeople\n\nto spend more time working and less at home and with family.In a survey over a base of 2,000 senior executives and managers in\n\nhundreds of businesses, we found that less than 1 percent of them\n\nthought most people in business today were extremely balanced when it\n\ncame to work and personal life.And when it comes to that balance, the number of managers who feel\n\nmost people in business are unbalanced has gone up compared to three\n\nyears ago, when we conducted this same worldwide survey."There is no balance, North Americans live to work," said one survey\n\nrespondent. "From middle managers up, we are conditioned to accept\n\n60-hour workweeks as the minimum standard, often with artificial\n\ndeadlines that have little to do with reality.""In the everyday rush to get things done and trying to find time to\n\nmeet the personal needs when business has so many demands on people, it\n\nmakes more people tend to live to work rather than work to live," said\n\nanother respondent.When it comes to personally balancing their work and home life,\n\nslightly more than half of respondents said they were balanced, with\n\nfewer than 15 percent saying they were extremely balanced.Part of the difficulty in balancing work and personal life is that\n\nmore people can more easily stay connected to work all the time,\n\nlargely due to technology."This survey struck a chord with me," said one respondent. "I am on\n\nvacation, but it\u2019s not my father\u2019s vacation, that\u2019s for sure, because\n\nI\u2019m checking e-mails and voice mails frequently. It is a great example\n\nof the fact that for most successful individuals, work\/life balance has\n\nbecome almost non-existent. If you are a high achiever, you are on call\n\nmost of the time, even when on vacation. The same technology that has\n\nhelped us to be more successful and efficient (e.g., Blackberry, Wi-Fi)\n\nhas become so ubiquitous that very few places, however remote, are\n\nbeyond the reach of work."Said another: "There\u2019s too much technology that keeps me connected\n\nto work when not at work. I feel compelled to view e-mail and respond\n\nat nights and on weekends. I recently made the decision that I will\n\ncheck e-mail when I first get home only. On weekends, I will maybe look\n\nonce or twice on Saturday and check on Sunday evening with the\n\nexpectation of only responding to very critical issues or e-mails. This\n\nseems to be helping me better balance."The real key to achieving work-life balance regarding technology is\n\nto know when and where to turn it off. While being continually\n\nconnected has obvious business benefits, people need to take breaks\n\nfrom the constant barrage of communications to recharge and think.\n\nVacation is to take vacation."Today\u2019s culture is based on always being in touch via cell, e-mail,\n\n\u2018crackberry,\u2019 whatever," said one survey respondent. "Taking time off\n\nis nearly frowned upon, it seems. It\u2019s gotten pretty sick overall and I\n\nfind it affects me, leaving me feeling guilty perhaps if I don\u2019t work\n\non a weekend. I also believe there are some people who WANT to overwork\n\nbecause it makes them feel important. My husband nearly twitches from\n\nnerves if he doesn\u2019t check e-mail or work on the weekend."Business leaders should step up and support more work-life balance\n\nboth for themselves and those they manage. More balanced employees are\n\nlikely to be more productive as well as stay with the business longer.