The landscape of employment has changed a lot ever since the pandemic. Aspiring job seekers quickly adapted to a completely new concept of work-life balance: work-life integration. Although it is a new idea, several organizations have already implemented it. And employees are getting the hang of it, hoping to blend well with the ideals of their organizations.
In this post, we’ll dive deeper into work-life integration. In addition, we’ll also provide valuable insight into embracing the concept more from a candidate’s perspective.
Work-Life Balance vs. Work-Life Integration
Over the past decade, the idea of work-life balance has continuously been hammered into the minds of employees without ever grasping the reality behind it. In fact, 63% of employees say that having a greater work-life balance is a vital factor when considering a job.¹
Sure, there still are employees who keep their computers locked inside a drawer in their desks for the weekend. They don’t touch it until 8 AM the next Monday to keep everything balanced, in a way, so their lives don’t mix with their careers.
However, many employees from various organizations also talk to their superiors regularly while working out, check emails while on vacation, and give a final check of what happened in their professional space before they hit the sheets. This practice integrates work and life perfectly, giving each a fair share.
The principle is the most accurate representation of work-life integration, and many people aspire to mimic and apply it to their careers.
And with the transforming dynamic of today’s professional landscape, employees are starting to seek opportunities that are way beyond tradition. While organizations can simply adjust to it by grasping the concepts of work-life integration, employees and candidates also need to adapt to this new concept.
Integrating Work and Life Harmoniously as Candidates
Similar to work-life balance, the idea is that work-life integration is a continuous process that will change and evolve. What it is now might change again in a few years, and most definitely, both employers and employees would need to be harmonious to make it all work.
Interestingly, it will be the candidates’ discretion whether it will work for them, regardless of how organizations implement the idea of integration for their employees.
Blending the Line Between Personal and Professional
The idea behind work-life balance is when employees draw the line between personal and professional to the extent that they won’t interfere with one another. Work-life integration, however, allows them to blend seamlessly.
According to Burn Boot Camp multi-unit franchise partner Melissa Price, this is where employers come in.
To have a healthy and successful work-life integration, you’ll need a work-life balance. On the same page, employers must understand their employees’ wants and needs. One way to do it is to tailor an employee’s work arrangement to their style when they can be at their most productive – as well as “where” they can be most productive.”
In this situation, the employer’s role is to equip candidates and employees with what they need to be productive. However, employees need to find and mend their personal and professional balance to avoid chaos in their day-to-day lives.
1. Planning and Scheduling
The sense of work-life integration is not limited to the fact that you’re blending everything at once. We’re all humans, and we have our needs; we get groceries, eat out at restaurants, take walks, and go on vacations. Work-life integration is still doing those things but keeping awareness and responsibility for your duties.
Think of it like this: You decide to go to the gym and meet with your friends on a Friday, but you have work to do. The work-life balance would look like “I have to go home early to work,” whereas work-life integration would be “Even if I go home late today, I’ll work on Saturday for the work I missed today.”
Here’s how you can go about it:
- Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance
- Dedicate time blocks for specific tasks
- Establish your work availability to colleagues
Planning is an essential element in work-life integration. Without a plan, you’ll attempt to do everything all at once, which can lead to not accomplishing a single task.
2. Use Technology Wisely
One reason why innovators continue to develop technology today is to allow everyone to have better and easier lives in every aspect. When it comes to employment, technology can be a real game-changer for most fields and industries. You can try out good-quality tech like a good phone, tablet, or computer to streamline tasks or use apps for task management.
As long as what you’re using helps you fulfill your duties and responsibilities or enhances your personal experience, it’s a worthwhile investment that enables you to harmonize work and life without creating chaos.
3. Set Goals and Boundaries
Just because you’re trying to blend them all seamlessly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything for the sake of it. This is why the secret to a healthy work-life integration is setting boundaries. For instance, are you happy to answer an important call at 11 in the evening?
This step is crucial, especially if you’re just starting a new job. Blending the line is one thing, but having boundaries that can help you balance it out finishes the idea of integrating work and life.
Having this mindset can help you draft a plan on when and when not to give in to work or leisure. It’s a matter of thinking, creating, and setting something for yourself.
4. Test and Improve
The idea of work-life integration is relatively new. Companies wouldn’t have considered using this approach if it weren’t for the pandemic. So, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, especially for workers. Many employees are still figuring this out, which is okay. It’s normal to test different ways of blending work and life. Find what works best for you and keep making it better as you grow in your career.
Work-life integration is the modern version of “balance,” especially now that companies have adopted flexible and remote work. By embracing this idea, both employers and employees can discover new possibilities that traditional approaches have never explored before.
LEVERAGE WORK-LIFE BALANCE TO ATTAIN A BETTER AND MORE EFFICIENT WORK ARRANGEMENT WITH FOCUS PEOPLE
Working at home has been a blessing for many but a burden for some, especially for employees who have traditional employers. At Focus People, we’re committed to pairing top talent with the best employers and organizations in their niche.
Let us guide you in landing your dream job specific to your expertise. We’ve partnered with the most prominent names in the IT, tech, accounting, and management industries. Get in touch with us and land the dream employer you’ve been wanting to work with today!
1 De Smet, Aaron, et al. “The Great Attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools?” McKinsey Quarterly, 13 Jul. 2022, www.mckinsey.com/the-great-attrition-is-making-hiring-harder-are-you-searching-the-right-talent-pools.