In today’s day and age, we are constantly blurring the lines between our personal and professional lives. It is almost impossible for us to separate the two. In this week’s Thrive, we will differentiate between work-life balance and work-life integration and better understand their roles in our workforce.
Do you want to get inspiring and growth-oriented messages to fuel your learning and be your best self? Click below to get the bi-weekly Thrive in Five messages sent directly to your inbox!
What is the difference between work-life balance and work-life integration?
Work-Life Balance can be defined as the equal time we give in our professional and personal lives to ensure fulfillment in our overall quality of life. According to Friedman (2014), it is a misguided metaphor because it assumes we must always make trade-offs from one or the other side to ensure a balance.
On the other hand…
Work-Life Integration is the connection between our personal and professional lives. This leaves room for us to decide when we can focus and give more time to professional versus personal matters and vice versa, by taking into account what requires more attention at any given moment.
According to UC Berkeley, the term work-life balance evokes a binary opposition between work and life, which creates a sense of competition, whereas work-life integration promotes synergy between all areas of life. It is crucial to recognize each individual’s circumstance and how it determines their ideal work-life integration. In doing so, you foster a space of trust in the workplace and allow an individual to come as their whole self.
Apply the Five
Now that you know the difference between Work-Life Balance and Work-Life Integration, let’s take a look at how you can be more intentional in blending your personal and professional life!
Use this Work-Life Balance Worksheet to develop and assess your work-life balance.
After completing this worksheet, you will have a better idea about your work-life goals and how to measure your success in achieving this integration!
Learn How Evans Thrives!
What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees and partners?
Meet Dawn Stevenson!
My first son was born a year after I joined Evans, so work-life integration became especially important. I often see people strive to balance work and life as opposing things, but Evans encourages me to integrate the two, to be my whole self. Rather than a compromise, this makes me a better worker:
I’m vulnerable and encourage others to be.
I’m honest when I’m not at 100% or need some family time, and colleagues are honest with me. This helps us manage expectations of each other and work as a cohesive team to meet client needs. I’m also approaching others with authenticity—an Evans value! Brené Brown writes: “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” And we can only succeed as consultants when we connect with people.
I’m more purposeful in life AND work.
Through each day I consider the time I’m devoting to work tasks, chores, my family, my health. When it’s all integrated, I’m focused on the value of my efforts rather than the minutes. A recent example: on Veteran’s Day, my husband took our older son on an outing; I worked while our baby slept and took him on a walk during work calls, then was focused on my boys when with them (and did a load of laundry). It was a happy and a productive day.
I work towards “win-win”.
With support from Evans, my work aligns with my personal passions. I’m learning and growing every week in ways that benefit me personally AND professionally. I also learn things from marriage, parenting, and triathlon that apply to work and vice versa.
Until Next Time…
Evans’ Talent Engagement Team
(Kaitlin Hurley, Mahi Chopra and Nicole Anderson)
(This image was adapted from a commonly shared internet image.)