As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the discussion around work-life balance has become more prominent. With remote working becoming the new normal and people working from anywhere, the new world of work has faced both appreciation and criticism. Remote working has made it difficult for employees to separate professional and personal commitments.
This has given rise to the need for work-life integration. As the world around us changes, integrating career needs alongside personal needs in a productive and healthy manner is of utmost importance. Read on to explore the meaning of work-life integration and various strategies to successfully implement it in daily life.
What Is Work-Life Integration?
In recent years, several organizations have moved away from the term ‘work-life balance’. Many found it creates an artificial separation between the two—work and personal life. By treating them as exclusive elements, we create a sense of competition between the two. It was a common belief that we lose out on life while working and vice versa. However, work-life integration has changed the narrative and is a healthier way to look at life and work. It has gained popularity as several organizations continue to reject the work-life balance framework.
Creating a strict divide between work and life has become an impossible task, especially in recent times. Instead of completely separating the two, work-life integration aims to unify both personal and work life in ways that complement each other. It’s an approach that creates synergies across your work commitments, family, community and personal well-being. Therefore, there is a synchronization of all aspects of your life. Examples of work-life integration have shown that individuals not only perform better but also have improved well-being.
The Importance Of Work-Life Integration
The traditional idea of work-life balance has constantly emphasized creating a balance between work and personal life. Studies show that such an approach encourages people to focus on an even distribution of hours between work and life. This further creates competition between the two elements and can be frustrating for individuals who struggle to achieve or maintain this balance. Therefore, work-life integration strategies present themselves as a more realistic alternative that places equal importance on both elements.
Here are some benefits that highlight the importance of work-life integration in today’s professional world:
Work-life integration makes it easier for working parents, who often have to choose between their family and their career
It allows greater flexibility as you can mix up your office hours with home-based duties; you can manage and prioritize tasks as per your requirement
It provides a new outlook and mixes things up; combining both aspects of your life can make it less monotonous and you can enjoy all your duties
Driving your child to school before going to the office or dropping by your meditation class between work hours are some basic examples of successful work-life integration.
Effective Tips For Work-Life Integration
Making room for flexibility in the form of work-life integration may seem scary at first but effective strategies can help you align all your responsibilities. Here are some tips for work-life integration that can help you blend different aspects of your life:
You need to make peace with the fact that there will be times when work spills into personal time and vice versa. Instead of fighting it, be flexible and accept that different areas of life will overlap.
Maintain A Schedule
Understand what you like and what you’d like to prioritize. Once you’ve decided how to integrate personal and professional tasks, make a schedule. For example, figure out when you’re the most productive. Scheduling breaks is also greatly beneficial.
Have A Purpose
Today, people try to find meaning in their work as it leads to a more fulfilling professional life. It’s safe to say that when you have a purpose, your productivity improves. Similarly, have a purpose when creating work-life integration. When your actions are meaningful, it helps you fulfill responsibilities faster.
While work-life integration strategies are extremely helpful in fulfilling your personal and professional goals, it’s important not to overdo anything. It’s possible to get carried away, which is why you need to create boundaries and start and stop when it gets overwhelming. Personal well-being and happiness are equally crucial.
In order to successfully implement a healthy work-life integration, you need to understand yourself first. Identifying your strengths, weaknesses and professional targets makes it easier to create a schedule and find purpose in your tasks. Harappa’s Interpreting Self course is designed to help you understand yourself and gain insights for self-improvement. Learn from multiple frameworks such as The Johari Window, The River of Life and The Kaleidoscope to identify your strong points. Join this self-knowledge course today to discover your best possible self!
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