3 Reasons Work Life Integration Is The Future

Jan 03, 2023 3 Min Read
women working remotely

Vector image is from storyset.com

Take Back Control of Your Life

There is no such thing as work life balance anymore. It is dead. The smart phone killed it. In a world where we are constantly plugged in to the system, it is not feasible to compartmentalise our lives in the hope of achieving work life balance. It had a good run, and back in the day, when you left your office and there was no way for your employer, or a customer or a client to contact you, it had its place. But it is gone, and it is not coming back. The time has come to embrace work life integration.

No more compartmentalising

The biggest difference between work life balance and work like integration is that with work life integration, you no longer compartmentalise different parts of your life. The 9-5 working model was created during the industrial revolution. To stop employees being overworked in factories the British government decided that a person needed 8 hours to sleep, 8 hours to work and 8 hours to spend with family and friends. That approach was then rolled out globally and its universally used today.

In work life integration, there is no need to have such strict compartmentalisation as everything is interchangeable. If you need to do 8 hours of work, this does not need to be done in a single eight-hour block. Instead, you might choose to spend an hour clearing emails at 7am. Then spend 8-10am having breakfast with the family and dropping the kids off at school. Work from 10-12 before going to the gym and then having lunch between 12-2. Then doing 3 more hours work 2-5pm, spending time with the kids to help them with homework and having dinner with the family 5-7pm and then finishing off any work from 7-9pm. By breaking down your day and not compartmentalising, you manage to achieve a lot more than you would do if you only focused on work from 9-5. 

Focus on productivity

The other benefit of work life integration is that it gives you the flexibility of being truly productive. There is a difference between filling your diary with tasks to keep you busy for the 8 hours you are in the office and actually doing meaningful work. By embracing work life integration, you are able to scale up, or scale down your day, depending on your diary. For example, there are going to be busy periods where you have an urgent project or deadline and you may need to work 10 or even 12+ hours a day. But there are also going to be slow periods, where if we are honest, you probably only need to work 4 or 5 hours a day. Work life integration allows you the flexibility to do what is required, without arbitrarily sitting at your desk for an extra 3 hours pretending to be busy.

Read more:

The Future of Work

Seven Principles of the Future Employee


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Mental Health

Finally, work life integration is essential if you want to improve your mental health situation. Waking up at 6am, trying to find the energy to go to the gym before work, getting stuck in traffic on the way into the office and worrying about being late is not a great way to start the day. Spending 8 hours stuck at a desk and then rushing home to make dinner with the family and just when you are about to unwind for the first time that day, you get an urgent email that you have to respond to that keeps you busy until you go to bed is not healthy. It is why so many people feel stressed and overworked. Work life integration is the answer to all of this, it gives you back control and helps you create a sense of harmony and self-regulation.

You may like this too:

The Future of Working Women And The Issues They Face



This article was first published on leenallalingham.com

This article is also available in Chinese.

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Lee is an International Best Selling Author, Speaker & Leader and has been leading teams for nearly 20 years. He has a proven track record across HR, Technology and Business Transformation. He has led teams in excess of 60 people, delivered over $250m in annual cost savings, efficiencies, and revenue generation, successfully delivered 5 integrations following mergers / acquisitions and worked across 6 continents, 70 countries and with over 100 MNC clients. For more information on Lee, please click here.


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