Staff Spotlight: Renee Shaner on Work-Life Balance

It’s no secret that stress and lack of balance cause dissatisfaction and “burn out” in the workplace. Statistics show that balancing work with family/relaxation time is becoming increasingly difficult for American employees.

According to Bloomberg business, 56% of managers in the United States are working more than the standard 40 hour work week, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 34.8% of all employed Americans work an average of 5.8 hours on the weekend. The Huffington Post published an article on work-life balance earlier this year, observing that “checking e-mail in bed, tweeting throughout dinner and taking work calls on the weekend have become common practices – often diminishing time to spend with family or to decompress.” The article goes on to say that this decrease in time between work and sleep is actually detrimental to overall productivity, since it means less time for people to unplug and “let creative juices flow”. (Read the full article here).

We asked Renee Shaner, VPR’s Accounting Controller of 25 years, to share why she feels balance is so important in the workplace, and how she takes steps to relax and unplug outside of work.

“When I come to work every day, I know I will be working with a great team to process a tremendous amount of work. We process the expense reports for more than 4,000 patient programs every year and we pride ourselves on turning things around quickly, so it’s a very demanding job. On my weekends though, it’s all about fun and relaxing at the Lake of the Ozarks. I go there every weekend with my husband of 37 years. Our grown children and our two adorable grandchildren like to join us also. We boat and swim all day, and then we barbeque, make s’mores and enjoy the sunset. The lake is my favorite place, but any time I have with my family helps me to de-stress and relax. For example, to celebrate my grandmother’s 100th birthday this summer, we all flew to Florida for her party at my cousin’s home. She told us the most amazing stories about her life. What a journey! Her advice to all of us is ‘Every day is a gift, so make the best of it.’ I can’t argue with that!”

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Above: Renee and her grandmother at the 100th birthday celebration.

Why do you think work-life balance is so important? How do you de-stress and unplug? Share your advice in the comments below.

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