The term work life balance is one we’ve all heard before, but how many of us think about Work-Life Integration….. do you really ever give much thought to the ways you could integrate your work commitments with the rest of your life?
Professionals in all industries are casting out the notions of work-life balance in order to build better work-life integration practices, where work and life are intertwined – by leveraging technology to make it happen.
Many organisations are increasingly embracing the concept of flexible working in order to make it easier for workers to integrate their work in around their home commitments. Working from home using smartphones or ‘cloud hosting’ is one way of helping employees to be productive even if they are unable to get to the office for whatever reason. Arguably, there is a debate to be had here concerning whether this ability to work at any time and in any place may indeed cause stress in itself, making it difficult for people to know when to switch off from work? And this is where the mind-set for true Work-Life Integration comes into play. The “anywhere worker” of today would say work-life balance is out the window, and Work-Life Integration is the future!
In a recent survey that captured data from the U.S., U.K., and Germany, it was found that 68% of people who described their teams as “very successful” have more than half of their team members in different locations. Being chained to an office desk does not indicate productivity. The “anywhere worker” may be his or her most productive while working in a café or brainstorming through a conference call on their mobile device anywhere in the world.
It was also found that these successful teams collaborate freely regardless of their location -79% of these successful teams say they are more likely to share a spontaneous idea on a virtual call than during an in-person meeting. Productivity isn’t about the setting; it’s about the mind-set. Work-Life Integration starts with analysing how you work the best. Take a self-inventory on your work style. Ask yourself where, when, and how – via email, in-person, or video conferencing, for example – you perform to your highest calibre. The “anywhere worker” weaves these considerations with professional priorities and lifestyle choices.
In addition to harnessing technology, organisations can provide information about wellbeing, including work related stress and stress management, and make sources of further information readily available to staff at all levels. They could also try to provide opportunities for physical activity and relaxation linked to the workplace as a way of de-stressing. Employers should also endeavour to keep lines of communication open with employees so that they can spot if somebody appears to be stressed, anxious or overworked in order to take steps to lighten their load and address their integration issues.
Take a few minutes now to think about how you can create a healthy integration of work-life and home-life?
For information on a whole host of 1-2-1 and group solutions relating to wellbeing at work and work:life integration please contact Tonic for a no obligation consultation. Tel: 01782 365 108
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