Work-Life Balance in the A/E/C Industry

By Julie Olson

Balancing work and life isn’t hard to do when you work for a company like GRAEF. An employer that supports a balance of a career, family, hobbies, and health is essential. Finding a balance is decidedly the responsibility of the individual, but the added perk of a supportive employer is sought after in today’s workforce whatever the industry or market.

Collaboration02_Planning Table Nicole and Erik 2014

Maintaining a balance according to personal needs and wants is a goal for many employees. Equally important in the architecture, engineering and construction industry is balancing the needs of our clients, stakeholders and “team members.” Working out timelines, expectations and preferred methods of communications are all great places to start. Discussing these needs will enable you to make independent, fully informed decisions at the right time. After all, that is our focus in the industry: problem solving.

Ideally, one works with a client often enough and close enough that one is in sync with the client’s expectations. Though other aspects of life are not as predictable, anticipating a client’s needs and exceeding their expectations should be second nature. One’s colleagues, manager and other support staff can and are willing and able to help. On can use these outlets from time to time when needed to meet a client’s goals.


One’s family, on the other hand, can be a very different story. From our individual experiences, we all know that things come up at the most inopportune times. Whether work went well or not, shifting into family mode upon arrival at home can sometimes be difficult. This takes practice. Being fully present in one’s family life and keeping up at work are two major life concerns. One way to alleviate the stress of finding a balance is to set schedules for both work and home and stick to those schedules.

Family, career, and health are all essential to a balanced life, and holding a steady balance between them day-to-day can certainly be a struggle. It is an ongoing challenge that is universal, not just in the AEC industry. Surely we all can admit to experiencing this struggle! Having that balance in life with little to no effort on our part is the objective. And so we continue our efforts every day with the support of a great employer.