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Why No One-Size-Fits-All Solution Exists for Work-Life Integration

  • 8th Jul'22

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once remarked, "You can't truly be considered successful in your work life if your home life is in disarray." But for many employees, this sad circumstance occurs far too frequently. Top performers who prioritize work over personal goals are particularly prone to doing this.

How can you support better work-life integration? There is, unfortunately, always a cost. Something must give if work-life integration drifts too far out of balance. It could result in burnout or resignation. Additionally, the effects may last a very long time for the affected employees.

Many people reevaluated their life during the COVID-19 pandemic and rearranged their priorities. According to Statista, 95% of workers believe that work-life integration is very important or somewhat significant when choosing or keeping a job, with 72% believing it to be extremely important. Smart companies are aware of this. When hiring new employees and handling problems with work and life, they consider work-life integration.


What is Work-Life Integration?

The concept of work-life integration is almost mythical. It conjures up thoughts of workers who perfectly balance their personal and professional lives, keeping everything in perspective and not putting one before the other. Work-life integration is actually uncommon in jobs. Without managers making a deliberate effort to attain balance, it rarely occurs.


Does Work-Life Integration Matter?

Maintaining work-life integration is crucial for maintaining a healthy, successful, and happy life. It also serves as a cornerstone to keeping workers. According to a poll by the employment website Monster, maintaining a work-life integration is the most crucial component of the job.

For individuals, this requires them to: 

  • Reflect

  • Decide on their life priorities.

  • Take charge of their work destiny.

  • Make their lives simpler.

This may lead to difficult decisions. For instance, some people decide to concentrate on advancing their careers and increasing their income to retire earlier. 

Others can stress the need of maintaining a regular schedule to have more time to spend with friends and family. Others might need scheduling flexibility so they can return to school or attend activities.

The issue for the majority of businesses is that different people have various definitions of work-life integration. There isn't a universally applicable answer.


Work-Life Integration: Find the Right Mix

The idea behind work-life integration is that people can work hard at a profession that they find fulfilling while still having time for themselves, their family, and other commitments. A balanced environment enables individuals to enjoy more fulfilled lives. 

Finding out the priorities and motivations of employees is now a crucial step in the human resources process. However, what "work-life integration" means to various people will vary. There are certain recurring motifs despite these distinctions.


Create a sense of progress and purpose

Most of the time that people are awake is spent at work. They want it to be more significant than just a paycheck. Giving work a purpose can significantly increase employee engagement. According to Limeade Institute, “Employees who have a clear sense of purpose at work are happier by 97%”.

Additionally, workers want to know that their careers have room for advancement. This could be receiving a higher salary, having more authority or responsibility, or going through training to pick up new abilities. Others seek security. To help employees achieve the work-life integration that is important to them, employers will need to understand individual motivations.


Provide options and flexibility

Employees want bosses that treat them with respect and value them as people, not simply as workers. Because of this, businesses must be more adaptable in how they handle employee relations. To support people in striking a work-life integration, employers must take into account significant events in their workers' personal lives. 

However, keep in mind that this could imply various things to various employees. It can entail taking time off work for some to travel to a child's sporting event. Others may have to leave early to spend time with a visiting friend from out of town or tend to a sick pet. Even though not every job offers flexible work hours, when offered, flexibility and choice make a significant impact.


Keep employee well-being first

According to Microsoft's Work Trends Index, more than half of employees now put their physical and mental health above their jobs. After battling a pandemic over the previous few years, that shouldn't be shocking. Employers must prioritize the general welfare of their workforce. 

For managers who grew up believing they should keep a healthy barrier between workers' personal and professional life, this might be difficult. In the workplace today, managers must get to know their staff members better to understand what's important to them and how their personal and professional lives may affect their work. 

Employers can discuss their values with the people on their staff. Discuss how you may assist them in keeping their attention on the vital aspects of their lives. Make it clear what you can and cannot accomplish while also suggesting options. Including mental health benefits in health insurance plans is a new trend in human resources. Employee assistance programs (EAPs), for instance, might assist staff members in resolving issues they run into at work or in their personal lives.


Employers Need to Make Efforts to Promote Work-life Integration

A recent survey by Monster also highlights a crucial fact that companies should take into account: The majority of employees, nearly three-quarters, believe that their companies do not prioritize work-life integration. Businesses that disregard this do so at their own risk. 

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Ioana Lupu and Mayra Ruiz-Castro emphasize that striking an integration between work and personal life is a continuous process. Priorities and viewpoints alter as people's occupations and lifestyles develop and change. To maintain equilibrium, this calls for regular cycles of reevaluation. Employers must have a plan in place for periodically reviewing employee priorities.


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