For many, the concept of maintaining a work-life balance sounds more like a dream that exists only on the first of never. Oftentimes, we get so engrossed with our careers that we fail to remember that there’s a bigger picture to life than what exists within the walls of our organization.
Isn’t it pathetic that 66% of employees feel that they don’t have a healthy work-life balance? From financial worries to growing economies and fast-paced lifestyles, creating an equilibrium between work and personal life has become rather onerous in recent times.
However, attaining this feat isn't impossible! In fact, organizations have become overly creative with their tactics to help employees achieve that balance, bringing about a new and more refined concept of work-life integration.
Unlike the former which has to do with setting equal priorities for the demands of work and career, work-life integration involves establishing a synergy between one’s personal life and professional demands. Rather than dealing with both aspects of life as separate entities, you begin to treat all daily activities as part of a whole.
How organizations can promote work-life integration
Work-life balance and integration are mere concepts promoting the wellness and productivity of an individual or employee. However, organizations have a significant role to play in the process. Check out these four tips on how employers can create a work environment that favors work-life integration.
1. Introduce out-of-office work functions or events
It’s essential to stay disciplined when discharging official duties, however, keeping an all-time strictly official profile in your organization can make the workplace boring, demoralizing, and unmotivating to your employees.
Workplace events like wellbeing days for employees should be treated as a top business priority rather than trivial. This seemingly insignificant perk and other similar fun activities have numerous positive impacts on employees ranging from improved resilience, increased productivity, better engagement and what have you.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to lighten up the atmosphere of your workplace, out-of-office work functions can range from scavenger hunts, brain-storming sessions, and even team-building activities that give employees a break from their duties.
2. Recognize and incentivize outstanding employees
Underappreciation can destroy the morale of your employees, after all, everyone wants to be valued and recognized for their hard work. That simple act often makes employees fulfilled and motivated to give their all to your organization.
To get started, consider choosing from the best employee recognition software to create a clear and scalable appreciation culture to ensure employee successes and activities are monitored and incentivized.
Do away with the popular misconception that employee recognition must be impressive and imposing as it often hinders continuity when incentivizing successful projects and contributions.
3. Have employees choose their most productive work time
Oftentimes, the reason why most organizations record a decline in their overall productivity rate and revenue generation isn’t that there aren’t skilled employees in the team but because their work models offer no flexibility.
Allowing employees to work at their most preferred times is necessary to ensure they work at their maximum capacity. While this increases employee satisfaction and job satisfaction, it also guarantees increased work efficiency and productivity.
4. Come up with employee awareness programs
Creating an awareness program that enlightens your employees about work-life integration can help them get up to speed with the many benefits that come with it. With that, employees become more conscious of their time and spend it judiciously on more productive activities.
Additionally, awareness programs regarding work-life integration provide employees with tools and resources that make it quite easy for employees to attain the peak of work-life integration in a short time space.
How employees can promote work-life integration
As it was mentioned earlier, a successful work-life integration takes two to tango. While employers have a role to play, employees must equally fulfill their side of the bargain. Here are 7 tips that can ease the process;
1. Create a blend of responsibilities
You must develop a growth mindset! This is the basis and perhaps the most tasking aspect of attaining a work-life integration. Our lives are divided into two demanding halves; our personal life and career path.
Rather than treating these two life aspects as different entities, a growth mindset allows you to mix and match your responsibilities. This allows you to create harmony and synergy between your activities, thereby, eliminating the possibilities of mental competition and clash of interests.
You may decide to schedule some work-from-home time while sorting out personal business and work demands in a manner that leaves no side lacking. The ultimate goal is to manage your activities judiciously to have a fulfilled and well-spent day.
2. Create and keep up with a schedule
Time management is crucial! One thing is creating a to-do list and another is maintaining the schedule. In the process of achieving work-life integration, how you spend your time influences the results. Simply put, your work-life integration is only as realistic as the way you handle your time.
To gauge your performance and see if you’re actually making progress;
- Keep a tab of your day-to-day activities by writing down how you’ve spent every hour.
- By doing so, you’ll be able to adequately make improvements and better incorporate your professional demands into your personal life without making it seem like a burden.
3. Work smart and be goal-oriented
Be ruthless in achieving your goals! The demands of career and personal life often get overwhelming so much more that your plans can get jeopardized in the process if you lack focus. As such, you must be daring and unwavering to accomplish your goals while not being overly ambitious to the extent that you lose sight of other life demands.
In your quest to attain work-life integration,
- You must be objective when setting priorities in order to lead a happy life.
- Ensure every move you make is well-calculated and goal-specific
- Determine your hours and motivations for working, rather than simply clocking in and out.
4. Align your activities, don’t divide!
Be diligent in discharging your duties! Working from home gives room for flexibility however, you can easily get swayed off the track. Answer phone calls and discuss official matters while performing house chores or other less demanding home activities.
In a world where emerging technologies have become the new norm, everyone has access to a mobile phone or a laptop with internet access carrying so various parts of our lives tend to intersect at some point.
To maintain a harmonious workflow, you must be adaptable and prepared for some work impingement.
5. Take advantage of work spurts
Small spurts of work can do the magic! Your work breaks are golden and should be spent on activities you consider pleasurable. The beautiful side of this is that you get to merge your passion with your tasks, leading to a stress and tension-free working time.
Short spurts can help you break the monotony of work; rather than getting overburdened with queues of multiple activities, you can sit and complete a goal-specific task within a couple of minutes.
Afterward, you can treat yourself by going for a stroll, taking a little nap, or better still, spending some quality time with your spouse. These activities add up and have a positive impact on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
6. Choose the most conducive working condition
Know what works best for you! We all thrive in different environments; while some of us reach our full potential when working with a team or group, others find exuberance when they work alone. So, it’s up to you to assess yourself and identify what work condition suits you best.
The fact that a remote work role is made available for you doesn’t mean you’ll thrive well in it. If your productivity is usually impeded by noise and constant chitchats, you may want to consider an in-office work model where discipline is maintained at all times in contrast to the hustle and bustle atmosphere that exists in the home.
The bottom line is that most people surpass expectations and reach their maximum productivity when they work under favorable work conditions.
7. Be more particular about the results than the time expended
It’s not how far but how well! Spending a great deal of time on an activity that isn’t purpose-driven or goal-specific is termed futile, after all, what matters the most is the end result.
Before embarking on an activity, you may want to give answers to the following questions;
These questions will help you weigh the importance of an activity; if it warrants investing your time and energy, you’ll be sure there’s something in it for you and if otherwise, you can channel your resources on more profitable activities.
Next steps to enhance work-life integration
The ball is in your court! We’ve demystified the concepts of work-life balance and work-life integration and equally highlighted some tips that can help you attain wellness and productivity for success.
Start by eliminating every element of negativity that may influence your decisions. What stands between you and your work-life integration dream is your mindset. Once you can overcome your fears, you can leverage this piece to create the balanced lifestyle you’ve always yearned for.