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  • Steven Mercer
    Steven Mercer

    Balance of Work & Life

    How is your balance?


    April 2020. What a time to write about Work/Life balance.

    The kitchens are closed. We are at home. We are out of balance.

    Balance to me is the most important concept to consider when trying to improve wellbeing. Its human nature to require balance.


    Traditionally bad balance.

    Before these unprecedented times we all at one time or another experienced a lifestyle out of balance the other way. Not all of us, I have read great stories about kitchens that are finding ways to find better work/life balance, but it is still the case across the world that chefs are being asked to work long, inconsistent hours.

    One aspect of the problem is the expectation of the hospitality industry. Traditionally work/life balanced hasn’t been managed well and at the heart of the aims of the chefs union are to tackle these issues varying from split shifts, long/anti social hours, not having any fixed hours or being given no notice to make any plans. Stick with us to find out more.


    This will change.

    Perhaps as soon as when we go back to work. We will fight for these rights.

    I want you to have a think about what your work/life balance would look like If you were in full control of it. Like you should be.

    I am a big believer in taking control of our own wellbeing. During the time of my career when I had the worst work/life balance I made it worse by having a couple of pints at the end of each shift.

    I started to run. A lot. For me I found it gave me something that was away from work and I could easily fit it around the anti-social hours I had. On a simple level I sarted taking time for myself and sat in cafe’s and drank coffee.

    It was also a cue to me to move on. I did. I found a better work/life balance.


    The Benefits to business’ that looks after this balance.

    • high morale leading to increased productivity.
    • less fatigue related mistakes.
    • being a responsible employer will attract the best chefs.
    • staff retention becomes easier.


    How could work/life balance look like?

    1. No Chef should have to miss weddings and family occasions simply because they are a chef.
    2. Having the options to do things in your life that isn’t work.
    3. Evening and weekend time off to spend with friends and family that aren’t in the hospitality industry.
    4. Consistent and advanced notice for time off. To build a routine and make plans.


    As ever, I simply hope this gives you something to think about. Talk to us if you are looking to improve your work/life balance. We are here for you.

    Edited by Steven Mercer

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    Chefs forget about this so much.The word "balance" is so important in cooking.Not too much salt,not too much sugar,not too light,not too dark,not too thick,not too runny,not too hot..not too cold..etc.

    Balance is so important,yet chefs forget to add that same balance into their lives??

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