Earlier this month, Rachel Emma Silverman had a great post on The Juggle blog from the Wall Street Journal. Silverman takes a cue from a series of panels at the South By Southwest Interactive conference to take the issue of work-life balance head-on. Airfoil’s president, Janet Tyler, attended SXSW and brought back some great ideas about this topic that we’ve already been discussing at Airfoil.

What struck me about Silverman’s write-up was perhaps the most simple of statements. “To paraphrase Smokey the Bear: ‘Only you can create work-life balance.’” It’s been easy in the current economy to come up with all of the excuses in the world why things aren’t working, but when it comes to company culture and work-life balance, control is within our grasp.

For Airfoil, it’s a reliance on the values that have guided us throughout our more than 10-year history. Our collaboration value means we can have a discussion at any level of the company for how we can better live our values.

Recently at an agency meeting, Airfoil Partner and Senior VP Tracey Parry kicked things off by asking everyone to share some of their best practices about work-life balance. Some of these seemingly minor discussions in Airfoil’s history have brought about major changes in the organization that keep all of us performing at our full potential.

Silverman cites an example of a worker who started a lunch club to encourage co-workers to eat lunch away from their desks. Her example started a new trend at the company where employees not only took their lunch to get a much-needed break, but to also get to know each other better.

Recognize how empowered you are to not only improve your own work-life balance, but others around you. Set your own limits and take the time to ask a peer or mentor about how they achieve work-life balance. The change that you start and demonstrate will be infectious.

— Tim Wieland is an account manager at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.