Finding work-life balance

Finding work-life balance

Fatima Lantin Cruz (The Philippine Star) - December 30, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Life nowadays moves faster than ever and beating deadlines in the workplace can get overwhelming especially for companies that are keen on delivering quality products, services, and results. Recognizing that employees are the lifeblood of a company, many employers ingrain work-life balance as integral to their culture.

Global cement manufacturer Cemex Holdings Philippines is stepping up its efforts to motivate employees to maintain good health and wellbeing. Its “Work, Live, Play” campaign reimagines work-life balance by espousing the work smart, live well, play hard, grow fast, and family first elements.

Five of Cemex Philippines’ top employees share their experiences on how they were able to live by the “Work, Live, Play” mindset in balancing what matters most for their professional and personal growth.

• Work smart Working smart means knowing your priorities, what should come first, and what you need to spend time on as of the moment. Working smart is working efficiently, while at the same time reserving enough energy for hobbies and family.


Enterprise Risk management director Jose Mauro Gallardo Vales was the type of professional who used to prefer having his day completely full of tasks, but this eventually took its toll on him.  He then realized the value of focusing on one task at a time, and setting priorities. He now makes to-do lists to organize his pending tasks. He also applies the Eisenhower Matrix with four categories divided as important and not important, and urgent and not urgent.

“All of these require knowing your limits,” he says. “You don’t have to work more; you just have to know how to work smart.”

• Live well To live well means having an over-all healthy lifestyle. This involves observing a balanced diet and making time for physical activities. But to live well also means having a positive and hopeful outlook much like Supply Chains Solutions manager Katrina Flores. Flores redefined the meaning of well-being for herself after the tragic loss of her third baby. Apart from never missing her physical exercises, like biking and swimming, Aya sees wellness as remaining optimistic and finding happiness at all times.

“There are things that are beyond my control. My mother never seemed tired. I realized it was because she always remained positive and tried to find happiness in whatever she had. I try to do the same,” Flores says.

• Play hard Professionals need to balance out working hard with playing hard. Having a creative or physical activity that you enjoy doing gives you the chance to unwind, meet new people, and even give you more motivation at work.

Community Relations officer Fulgencio Ubay’s list of projects includes improving the structural foundations of a school entrance and other livelihood programs. While he finds fulfillment and enjoyment in his work, Dondon also follows his passion for mountaineering. He has even trekked almost every mountain in the country. “I like the disconnection of being up in the mountains. You get to really connect with different people,” says Ubay.

• Grow fast Growth or personal development is about finding opportunities to widen your knowledge, and to maximize your capabilities. The Cemex commitment to employee development extends to supporting the employees’ interests outside of work. Cemex supports the activities of various interest clubs that are run by the employees, such as a photography club, a hiking and outdoors club and of course, a basketball club.

Human Resources manager Jared Jabines affirms the importance of having these interest clubs. “Growth does not only happen at work. You also grow when you indulge in your passion and interests,” he says. During his downtime, Jared loves assembling miniature action figures. By following the intricate, step-by-step process of assembling small parts that go together, he is able to practice the value of patience. “You just have to be curious. There is always something to be learned from every activity, and every interaction. You just have to be open to it,” he says.

• Family first The needs of working parents should never be taken for granted. Cemex understands the priorities of working parents in the company and allows them to take extended leaves for matters concerning their families.

Area Sales manager Josephine Rose Fard is able to prioritize her family while meeting her targets at the same time. Work and family may be a challenging balancing act, but managing the household is made easier with the help of JR’s husband and kids. “Sometimes, I can’t avoid staying late on site or offshore, but there’s give and take with Cemex. Thankfully, my husband understands the nature of my work,” Fard says.


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