Work/life and work/life integration are explored with Paul McGowan of PS Audio, a Baby Boomer, entrepreneur, business owner, family man and...
Make Work/Life Integration Work for You | Visitor Check in App
Research shows integration has advantages over the traditional approach. Here are tips for making work-life integration work for you and your teammates.
Why? And What Is the Difference Between the Concepts?
Work life integration refers to the ability to bring together all aspects of your life together including work, home, school and other responsibilities. Integration demands there be limited barriers between the life aspects and each is deserving of attention as needed. This ability to keep all aspects of one’s life compartmentalized and therefore making a distinction between them.
In the past, employees worked a 9 hour day with an hour for lunch and two breaks. Your schedule might have had some more flexibility, and you might have taken a day off of work for doctors appointments or a meeting with your child’s counselor. Outside of work hours was when employees would “catch up” on your other duties like home or personal issues.
Make Work/Life Integration Work for You
Whether you are a business owner, manager or employee, here are some tips to be successful:
- Set boundaries.
- Does your organization or direct supervisor have specific times they expect you to be working? Say, the weekly meeting or the heart of the day, local time? If you know that it is easy to plan everything else around clear expectations.
- You also know you need quality sleep in order to perform in any aspect of your life. So pick a time to put down your phone each (make sure there is a gap between when you stop staring at screens and when you wish to fall asleep). Don't be shy about letting teammates know you will always be offline between certain hours.
- Organize your time on a work calendar. Do you have a scheduled working group or doctor's appointment? Add it to your calendar. That way if someone is looking for you, they know you are scheduled and not slacking off. If it is an emergency, they have a sense for whether to track you down or wait until you return.
- Create realistic deadlines. While the specific hours may vary, employees will still work 8-10 hour days, give or take. So give deadlines that take into account workload and time zone differences. Forget the nebulous "end of day" and be specific, or get clarity, about when a report or recommendation is truly needed.
- Focus. When you are working, work. When you are playing or getting personal tasks done, focus on that. Do not let technology distractions make you ineffective at everything. Plus, people you are interactive will realize you are intent on them
- Establish trust. The best way to achieve work/life integration is to be honest about what you are doing. If you are working from home, be accessible and responsive during your stated working hours. By the same token, employers must recognize there may be a learning curve as new people get used to their organization's culture.
It turns out, integration may may actually be a smart work style. A recent study shows that more frequently transitions between roles leads to fewer cognitive barriers. In turn, workers quickly achieve an increase in productivity. Given the reality - and the benefits - of this approach, it is important to use the tips above to maximize effectiveness.