Better work-life balance leads to reduced stress for workers and increased
productivity. It is not just an issue of importance to the individual, it is
also of strategic importance to our economy. Indeed, a future shortage of
workers and skills is likely to force our economy to adopt successful work-life
balance policies, warned Ireland's Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern in his keynote
speech on the opening day of the Foundation Forum 2004, held in Dublin on 3-4
Acting Director of the Foundation, Willy Buschak, called for fresh thinking and
new ideas to deal with what he called 'obstacles to our attempts to meet the
Lisbon targets'. Particular challenges include the ageing of the EU workforce,
the need to develop a knowledge-based society and to improve productivity.
'Do we really need to divide work and life?' asked Mr Vlado Dimovski, Minister
of Labour, Family, and Social Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. If in the
industrial age work and life was divided, in the new knowledge economy 'life is
becoming work and work is becoming life'. Life is changing radically, with
different family types and the increased participation of women in the
While there was general agreement that we will probably need to work longer in
the future - we also need to work smarter.
Established as a platform for top-level debate, the first Forum held in 2002 in
Dublin, it gathers international policymakers, government leaders, social
partners, researchers and other high-level actors to exchange experiences. The
Foundation Forum is a biennial event supported by the Irish government.
AplusA-online.de - Source: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions