Balancing Work and Life to Take Center Stage at 2012 CREW Conference

By Jean M. Meilinger, Instructor at Roosevelt University and Member of the BOMA/Chicago Education Committee

As members of BOMA/Chicago, we’re keenly aware of the skills and resources needed to keep an office building operating in top performance. But perhaps we need to focus more on what it takes to keep our industry and our employees operating in top performance as well.

One of the goals of the upcoming 2012 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace is to provide the commercial real estate industry with the necessary resources and knowledge to excel both personally and professionally in the commercial real estate industry.

This year’s CREW event, held in Chicago from October 24 to 27, will explore the idea of choices men and women have regarding their careers: How do we choose to conduct business? Do we aspire to become part of the C-suite?  Do we carry out our business in a traditional fashion or push the envelope?

Commercial real estate industry experts will descend on Chicago to debate the answers to these questions and others. There likely isn’t a “right answer,” but the responses this year may be surprising, particularly given that many career opportunities today are affected by the recession’s impact on the CRE industry.

Can you have it all if you choose to pursue it? Evidently, you can, but less so if your picture of success includes work/life balance.

According to the CREW Network’s Women in Commercial Real Estate Study, last published in 2010, both men and women find it easier to achieve a sense of career success and satisfaction than to achieve a desirable work/life balance. Satisfaction with one’s work/life balance within a commercial real estate career is significantly lower than reported satisfaction with the level of success achieved; and this does not vary significantly by gender.

According to the survey, women (who comprise a high percentage of the property management field) are significantly less satisfied with their work/life balance than their male counterparts. The statistics revealed that 8 percent of the women CREW surveyed reported being dissatisfied with their ability to achieve a balance in work and life, compared to 5 percent of men.

While these statistics may sound dreary, there are a number of outstanding employers who embrace work/life balance and are maintaining and rewarding their workforce regardless of gender.  The survey metrics revealed overall that 92 percent of respondents are “somewhat satisfiedor “very satisfiedwith their work/life balance. Most of us feel we can succeed and enjoy time away from work with friends and family. That’s a good sign.

Commercial real estate is an industry that offers individuals the opportunity for achievement, often regardless of gender. When is the last time you considered your own career growth? What thoughts or insight do you have on achieving a work/life balance?  Please feel free to share.

About jeanmeilinger

Instructor at Roosevelt University and member of the BOMA/Chicago Education Committee
This entry was posted in Continuing Education, CRE Trends, Property Management and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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