The theory of employers allowing a good “work life balance” has been a great triumph for employee satisfaction; and is one for which we can thank the professional women who were entering the workplace in large numbers in the 1960’s.
However, the term “balance” relies on the idea that “work” and “life” are diametrically opposed, with each having its own separate weight and value – which leads me to ask, why would anyone want to choose doing work over having a life?
Rather, professional and personal life INTEGRATION is the wave of the future. Technological advances, along with the Millennial generation, taking over the workplace means professional work gets done whenever and wherever. This change should also lead employees to be able to live their personal life whenever and wherever, not only outside of the hours of 8 to 5 during the week and on the weekends.
Integration looks like:
What I worry about with the expansion of technology and employees working at all hours of the day and night is that organizations will “forget” to allow workers to use business-operating hours for personal tasks. If employees are working outside of the 8 to 5 time frame, the traditional workday should be up for grabs for personal tasks too.
With professional and personal life integration becoming the new “work-life balance” – businesses can put an onus on results (while likely having a higher employee retention rate) and employees can fulfill their personal needs and goals in a more achievable, sustainable manner.