Lifestyle Management for Measurable Work/Life Balance
by Lyndall Taylor
With the long weekend upon us, it’s a good time to think about how you use your time. For those of you who have not met me or have not heard Karen speak about me, I work closely with Karen to help her manage the multiple roles she plays as a business owner, mother, wife and daughter.
As a Lifestyle Manager, I’m often asked what it is I actually do for my clients, which is no surprise given the concept of Personal Concierge and Lifestyle Management services is still a relatively new one here in Australia. Expanding on the role of a Hotel Concierge in the US in the early 1980’s it wasn’t until the late 90’s before Australian entrepreneurs saw the opportunity here, and today the industry is estimated to be worth over $1 billion worldwide. The Australian Bureau of Statistics even predicts the fastest growing Industry Sector in Australia in the next 5 years will be Personal Services.
With such a vast and varied list of services we provide however, to relay them in the context of this question would be at the detriment of our profession, sounding more like a jack-of-all-trades industry rather than the highly skilled professionals we are. So my response to this question is often simple and exactly what my clients will tell you I do for them:
I make positive, measurable differences to people’s overall health, happiness and wellbeing.
Demand is in the Statistics
Whilst the industry is still far greater in the US and UK than in Australia, the local market is definitely expanding and gaining momentum as we become part of the phenomenal outsourcing trend. And for good reason.
The Australian Bureau of Statistic’s six-monthly compendium of gender indicators released in February 2015 revealed that 42.4% of women and 34.9% of men felt “rushed or pressed for time” with the most common reason for stress for both genders being “trying to balance work and family.” The second most common reason for men was the “pressure of work or study” and for women it was “too many demands” closely followed by “demands of family.”
42.4% of women and 34.9% of men felt rushed or pressed for time with the most common reason for stress for both genders being trying to balance work and family.
Time has therefore become the most valuable commodity in today’s busy society, and more and more people are happy to put a dollar value on it. IBISWorld Senior Analyst Ian MacGowan says outsourcing will only continue to grow in popularity, and therefore turnover. “It’s a convergence of several factors – increased household debt, we’re working longer hours and so are more time-poor, and our disposable incomes have increased four-fold in the past century.”
Interestingly too, the service is no longer considered purely for the rich and famous, but rather working or middle class mothers and professionals who simply see the value in outsourcing in a bid to obtain the elusive work/life balance.
How a Lifestyle Manager can make a difference
Working with a Lifestyle Manager goes beyond having someone else do something for you. Although we can be called upon for short-term projects, more often than not we build long-term, ongoing relationships with our clients, using a highly-personalised approach to understand their personalities, work schedule, business, personal interests and dislikes, family and lifestyle choices. We learn to pre-empt what our clients need and become intuitive about their requirements, support them when they are stretched to the limit, and can be called upon at any given time.
Our skill sets vary greatly and our connections make us an invaluable tool to our clients both personally and professionally. Coupled with the added benefit of being ‘on tap’ rather than a paid employee like other hired help, our clients can access skilled assistance for business or pleasure when required, making it an extremely cost effective service for most.
Measuring the Impact
But if you’re still wondering how we measure our impact on those we assist and how this directly improves their overall health, happiness and wellbeing, consider this:
1. One point of contact – for everything
2. More time for the things you enjoy doing
3. Being more productive within your genius zone by outsourcing your weaknesses
4. Reduced stress from not trying to do it all
These four points alone can be measured purely by how you feel after using our service. Having a lighter load, reduced stress and more time to do what you would prefer to be doing are all major contributors to feeling happier and leading a healthier, more positive lifestyle.
Defining what makes you happy is the hardest step towards achieving overall health and wellbeing – the only part we can’t do for you! But once you know, leave the rest to us.
Life really is too short to be unhappy.
Lyndall is the Director of Life StyleLists, a Personal Concierge and Lifestyle Management service for busy professionals. Achieving the elusive work/life balance for her client’s through highly-personalised support services is her passion, knowing that in some small way she is helping strengthen the family unit, return women to the workforce and helping success and happiness coexist.