The Era of Digitalization: Is Work-life Balance Out and Work-life Integration In?
Work-life balance is out, Work-life integration is the new normal
Work-life balance has always been the main theme of wellness, many gurus talk about the importance of work-life balance and how it is the key to your well-being and happiness. Is this still true though in this new age of digitalization and new normal that we have adjusted to? Let's dive deeper into this by first looking at what are some differences between Work-Life Balance and Work-Live Integration.
Work-life balance: The concept of work balance is that we work hard when it's work time and disconnect from work when we're off work, it involves managing our time to ensure that your schedule consists of time slots where you completely focus on spending time with friends, family or yourself and that you utilize holidays, paid leave and other time off efficiently to ensure that you are not disturbed by work-related activities when you're not at work. It also means putting in just enough effort at work that all your duties and task are completed before you clock out or go on leave.
There's nothing wrong with this concept 20-30 years ago as we were not as connected to each other than as we are now, we didn't have smart technology, social media, and other productivity tools that we do now, in this day and age we are more connected than ever 24-7, this makes it hard to truly disconnect and find the right balance.
Work-life Integration: This is a fairly new concept that takes into account the fact that we are always connected and can work anytime and anywhere, it hasn't become a mainstream concept yet, although, in my opinion, this is the future, Work-life integration is what I believe will replace work-life balance and we can already see this being accelerated due to the recent Pandemic.
The concept here is that working hours and location are irrelevant since technically we could work while we are in the WC, in the early hours of the morning, the late hours at night, or while we travel. I don't think there's is any work-related activity that can't be done remotely, of course, if it comes to client or company meetings a certain time will need to be scheduled but all other tasks could be done at any time, within the given deadline of course.
This means that your schedule could be staggered and created as such that it integrates your personal time for life with your work, for example, you could work from 5 am - 7 am, spend time with kids, and prepare them for school 7 am - 8 am, join a meeting at 10, take an hour break after, head to a coffee shop and spend time there relaxing but also checking of some of the tasks you have, being home to spend time with your kids, involve your kids in a work task that you think they'd enjoy and could learn something from, and so on.
There are so many ways to find work-life integration, the only challenge is that most companies haven't caught on to this concept and still expect people to clock in at 9 and clock out at 5, instead of transitioning to a flexible 8 hours which can be staggered around the employee's life, What's important here is that every employee has an OKR or KPI that can measure their productivity and track completion of tasks to make sure they are accountable.
In my opinion, no one will ever find work-life balance in this new age of digitalization but can find balance through work-life integration and finding creative ways to stay productive while also being able to relax, enjoy time with family, pursue hobbies other self-care activities.
It's just like the Ying-Yang symbol, it is not 4 separate parts it is an integration of black and white or good and bad.
If you are often stressed and can't find your work-life balance no matter how hard you tried. It's time you start thinking of what tools you can use and creative ways you can integrate work-life, I promise you that you will find balance and harmony through this method.
Not sure where to begin or how to integrate your work and life?
A good starting point is asking yourself these questions:
What tasks can I do remotely or are easy enough that I can do them while I'm with friends and family?
When are meeting usually scheduled? What time do I usually have to be available for clients or colleagues?
What productivity tools can I utilize to make sure that I can keep on track with my tasks and be reminded if I overlooked something?
Interested in learning more about work-life integration? Feel free to connect with me, you can find me in FIND A COACH.
Raih hidup sehat, bahagia dan seimbang dengan bantuan Wellness Coach kami.