Would we ever be able to reach a state of equilibrium with our work & life at the same time? The data overwhelming points to the impossibility of this.
Work-life balance or integration as it is now known is defined as being able to equally prioritize the demands of your career and personal life but not at the same time. Yes, that is right, we would never be able to prioritize our careers and personal life at the same time.
Work-life integration is grounded in the flexibility to excel professionally while having the time and energy to excel personally.
A great work-life integration has a positive impact on your physical (reduces your risk of burn out & stress), emotional and mental health (increases your happiness & well-being). It also makes you more productive at work, more loyal to your work and reduces your absenteeism.
A poor work-life integration is mainly as a result of great responsibility at work, great responsibility in personal life, working longer hours and yes having children or even demanding pets.
To have a great work-life integration, your work environment needs to be conducive and you also have to set up your life to allow the integration. When searching for work environments that aid work-life integration, look out for the following:
- Flexible working schedule
- Hybrid work environment
- Childcare access
- Company outings that encourage employee hobbies
- Encouraging time off & volunteering
To set up your life to allow work-life integration, you can do the following
- Do not strive for perfection, you will never be able to reach it
- One of my favourite things to do, set goals! It is all about the goals! Set your goals and identify what your priorities are in life
- Have a schedule but make it flexible
- Enjoy and be interested in what you do at work, it makes things easier
- Prioritize your physical, emotional and mental health
- Remember to unplug as often as you need
The most important thing to remember is that ‘balance is achieved over time, not each day’. Some days, work will reign and take a larger role in your life, and the other days, your personal life will. That is perfectly fine, as long as one part is not neglected, you can confidently say ‘you have it all’. Work-life integration, folks!