Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

Doing More with Less: Balancing Work with Home

Fewer or no staff, less money, more responsibilities: managers of all stripes are struggling to find the time to get the job done. It can put a serious strain on personal life. Here’s how to strike the proper balance.

March 2010, by Staff

Going in early, working late. Stopping into the office on weekends. Bringing work home. Cell phones and BlackBerrys. As much as ever, work seems to consume us, follow us around, intrude into every waking hour. Communication breakthroughs may carry an element of convenience; however, these new devices make sure that we're always "available," 24/7, to work.

On top of all that, we're in the midst of an economy in which job security has very nearly disappeared. How, then, does a hard-working fleet manager balance the demands of the job with the responsibilities of family and personal life? It isn't easy, but it can be done.

'Working' Hard

Someone once wrote, regarding controlling weight and dieting, that we all eat more than we think we do. He suggested as a first step in trying to lose a few pounds, we literally write down everything that passes our lips, every day, for a few weeks. The little things we eat between meals tend to go unnoticed when we complain, "I only eat salad for lunch, and I can't lose a pound."

The same general concept can help determine if any time is wasted during a normal 40-hour week. Sit down and account for every minute of every working day, and be honest. Think of this: a mere 10 minutes wasted (beyond any scheduled break time) each working day totals three hours and 20 minutes each month. Ten minutes - a minute here and there staring off into space, checking personal e-mail, wandering to the office or cubicle next door to chat, heading to the break room for another cup of coffee. There is certainly nothing wrong with taking a break or two in the midst of a working day. But wasted time can add up quickly and encroach on valuable personal time.

The point is, a manager must make certain each working day is full. Beyond a scheduled break or two, managing working time well can help create more time at home with family. Being honest, a manager may well find he or she is not really working quite as hard during the work week as believed.

Delegate Responsibility

Passing responsibility along to subordinates is difficult enough to do, even more so in an uncertain economy when job security is nearly nonexistent. Fleet managers may worry if staff is given more responsibility, management will question why the fleet manager is needed at all.
However, not only is delegation the hallmark of a good manager, it also can go a long way toward helping keep the workload manageable and thus create more time away from the job. Administrative and even clerical tasks that take away attention and energy from more important management responsibilities can be delegated down the line. The result is simple and effective: if a manager can hand off  tasks others can do, the early, late, and weekend work hours to stay ahead are no longer necessary.

Twitter Facebook Google+


Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.


Fuel Management

Bernie Kanavagh from WEX will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Verizon Connect will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Sponsored by

A tire that has had its tread replaced.

Read more


Market Trends

Mike Antich
Upward Pressure on Fleet Costs Threatens to Increase TCO

By Mike Antich
Recently, I conducted a survey of several hundred fleet managers to identify emerging industry trends. One recurrent theme expressed by fleet managers was the concern that fleet costs are starting to experience upward pricing pressures. Here's what they told me.

How to Minimize Unauthorized Use of Corporate Assets

By Mike Antich

View All

Driving Notes

Mike Antich
2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel

By Mike Antich
The Chevrolet Equinox adds a 1.6L four-cylinder turbo diesel to its lineup of engine choices for 2018. The fuel-efficient turbo diesel generates 137 hp and 240 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a six-speed automatic.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

By Paul Clinton

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Adapting to a Changing Tide

By Sherb Brown
Fleets are often the beta testers of the vehicle market. That shift away from compact sedans we saw in the fleet market a few years ago is playing out in real time in the retail market right now.

Keep Realistic Fleet Expectations

By Sherb Brown

View All

In Memoriam: Coach's Insights

Ed Bobit
Thinking of the Newbies of the Future

By Ed Bobit
A lot has changed in the past 10-15 years, so we can only imagine this momentum will continue into the next decade-plus. How will this change impact the fleet manager of tomorrow?

Managing a Car vs. Work Truck Fleet

By Ed Bobit

View All


Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher