Work Life Effectiveness interview series: Albert Leung
What does Work Life Effectiveness (“WLE”) mean to you?
Work life effectiveness means achieving flexibility between work and family/personal life. At times, it can be a zero-sum game. I work hard to do well in both without sacrificing one over the other. My goal is to optimize quality family time while delivering great client results.
What is one strategy that helps you establish, maintain, and achieve WLE in your workday?
Unfortunately, there is no secret sauce and it’s still a work in progress for me. I use video conferencing, instant messaging and other online tools to stay connected with my clients and colleagues. I utilize my Outlook calendar for work and my personal schedule, planning two-three months in advance to coordinate work and family schedules, blocking out personal time where I need to.
What do you find the most challenging about being effective in both your work & family lives?
Trying to achieve perfect work life balance is not easy. My better half has a demanding career and I have three young kids at home. It is constant chaos at my house. I find demands on my time and schedule to be the most challenging part, especially when I am on the road.
Is there an AlixPartners program that you have found helpful in maintaining a good balance?
I haven’t used it yet, but I have heard great feedback about the Backup Care Benefit program. I am glad that this safety net is available to AlixPartners employees. Over the years at AlixPartners, I have also been fortunate enough to have great colleagues that I have leaned on for help and for advice.
How has your approach on WLE evolved over the years?
I have become better at prioritizing and focusing on the important tasks. Be effective, not efficient; don’t do everything right, do the right things.
When I am on vacation, I try to shut off from work and do my best to respect my colleagues’ vacation (avoid emailing them at all cost).
How do you ensure your teams are achieving WLE?
A few principles/guidelines we have used over the years on projects:
- Create a shared project team vacation calendar
- Try to be flexible and accommodate other team members’ personal requests
- Create a safe and collaborative environment where team members can always ask for help
- Encourage (if not force) team members to take vacation
- Encourage work from home on Fridays whenever possible
If you had to give one piece of advice related to WLE to your younger self, what would it be?
Set the right expectations with the clients and with the team and block off time for personal and family activities. There will always be more work to do, but you will never get back the time you have missed with your family and friends.
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