The work-life integration is a progressive concept becoming an increasingly common concept used within SME's but what is it and how can you make it work?
I hear you say; It’s the perspective of unifying your personal and work life in a way that complements both areas instead of desperately and ineffectively separating them. With our growing reliance on our digital devices, creating a strict division between your home and work life is becoming increasingly difficult. Therefore, one effective approach is to unify them instead of having them compete against one another.
One practice becoming increasingly common, is having the opportunity to bring your dog to work. This is a great example of contributing to a better work-life integration.
There are multiple benefits to a work-life integration, for instance, your mood can be negatively affected if you are to separate your work and home time so savagely in some cases such as having to work overtime. Therefore, integrating the time is more realistic. Moreover, having this fresh outlook on your work can reduce the mundanity of your work, by creating a more flexible environment. And finally, it’s a great way to prioritise effectively. By mixing up your personal and business duties, you’ll be able to manage your tasks in a way that suits your needs instead of being time restricted.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, there are a couple of things you can do to undertake a work-life integration:
You should check to see what flexi time policies your employer has in place. If they don’t, you can always put a case together and ask your manager to consider flexible working hours.
Making a schedule combining your work and home life duties in accordance to your body clock rather than your office hours will allow you to utilise the time that you feel more productive for the important tasks whatever they may be. And whenever you feel burnt out, you can allow yourself to recharge instead of feeling guilty for taking time out during office hours.
What are your requirements? This is something you’ll need to ask yourself before organising your time. Not everyone has the same routine, so choose what you need to prioritise and when you need to get tasks done by.
You’ll need to coordinate your plans with those they will involve, that may be both your colleagues and your family. You’ll beed to arrange your time in conjunction with theirs whether it be doing the school run, or spending afternoons with them if you are looking to work in the evening.
If you are integrating your time, it may be easy to associate the time you spend on business related tasks with the measure of your contribution. However, this will not always be the case. Instead focus on the value you create, and if you manage to get a task done before the deadline you set, reward yourself with some personal time, or crack on with more work if you so wish. If you are a leader, you might want to look into introducing 4-day-work-week to your company to create a unique culture.
Although work-life integration is usually a great way to fulfil your personal and career goals simultaneously, there is room to go wrong. Therefore, you will need to set some boundaries. It is hard to merge both areas of your life fully so keep an eye on your welfare and the balance that you are taking control of. Do what is right for you, and what makes you the happiest.