The effects on executives quality of life

by Alberto Miranda, EMA Partners Spain, EMA NOVO 2007

Long hours and dedication to the company were previously essential for promotion and career plans. Today, these factors are essential for simply keeping stationary.

Working hours have increased as has the pressure for efficiency in order to achieve short-term results. The dividing line between private and professional life has become blurred.

Privacy is lost due to modern communications – emails, mobile phones, Blackberries - constant trips, time differences, demands and expectations of immediate action.

Work is not only a part of one’s life. It is becoming the reason for living, leaving  aside more social and family aspects. Commercial strategy is planned on a short-term basis, and there is a lack of loyalty to suppliers. Customers basically value immediate price/profitability. The idea of partnership is to drive down margins which results in lower levels of service.

Managing teams are being reduced, in a constant “reengineering” process. Fewer managers are required, although they can be better paid.

With  advanced and detailed monitoring systems, there is more pressure on profi tability criteria, whilst ignoring human or longterm aspects of the business.

The improvement of quality-of-life is becoming a diffi cult dream to be achieved by executives. Early retirement becomes the objective.

The most important point now is “to create shareholder value” with a consequent short-term vision. Much less attention is paid to parameters that cannot be quantifi ed financially.

The number of prematurely retired executives who have substantial skills and expertise and could still contribute to a company has increased signifi cantly; but they are fatigued by excessive work pressures or strategic changes, in which they no longer wish participate. These valuable people become lost to the job market and exacerbate the skills shortage.

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