Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results of this month’s Reader Panel survey on maintaining a healthy work-life balance suggest that for many remodelers, "balance" doesn’t seem to enter into the equation at all.
Nearly 40% of survey respondents reported that they "frequently or always" feel overworked and stressed by the demands of their business. This same group also reported feeling that their personal life "frequently or always" takes a backseat to their professional life.
Nearly the same number said that clients almost always expect to be able to meet during evenings and weekends.
"More and more customers are requesting Sunday meetings," said one frustrated remodeler, "and I suddenly feel the need to apologize for making my family the most important [thing] on this one day a week."
One quarter of respondents reported that they consistently work full days on Saturdays in addition to the normal workweek. Because of the demand for evening and weekend hours only about a third of remodelers surveyed said that they work what would be considered a "typical" American workweek (45 hours or fewer). Nearly as many said they work 56 hours or more every week.
One reason that remodelers struggle to separate their home and work lives is that the distinction between the two is often blurry — 48% of remodelers reported working exclusively from a home office, leaving little in the way of natural barriers between the personal and professional.
For many, another reason may be the lack of a reliable stand-in: 45% of respondents said that they have no employees or co-owners to whom they can delegate owners’ duties.
What is your biggest challenge in balancing your professional and personal life?“
Deciding how much is too much and how much is not enough.” —Andy Sjostrom, The Good Handyman, Oak Park, Ill.
“Getting to a point where you realize you can’t please everyone or be everywhere everyone would like you to be all the time — and to be OK with that.” —Barry Feenstra, Barry Feenstra Builder, Hudsonville, Mich.
“Trying to accommodate the client appointments around my family life because most clients work eight-hour days as well.” —Frank Burdo, Frank Burdo & Son, Shelton, Conn.
Tool Winner: Gerald Krause, of Krause Custom Builders, in Manitowoc, Wis., won a Bosch 3912 12-inch compound miter saw for participating in this month’s Reader Panel. Each month, survey respondents are entered into a drawing for a power tool. The Reader Panel survey is conducted for REMODELING by Specpan, a division of The Farnsworth Group.