Selecting Work Life Integration over Work Life Balance

By Dr Anam Zehra – Trainer and Consultant

2020 made us learn things like no other year. As much as the concepts of work from home and remote working were impossible in organizations before COVID, we must appreciate ourselves for adapting so well and embracing it whole heartedly and swiftly.

At the beginning of the year, many of us were discussing on the best practices for working remotely and everyone literally struggling with creating the right balance for work and life while operating from homes. This got many of us thinking that is work life balance the most right and constructive concept we strive for or we should put our efforts in the right direction for integrating work and life together.

The pattern of work in this digital age; where almost all the boundaries are gone and everyone is accessible every single time, it’s merely not about creating the right mathematical equation of hours between work and life, rather its more an issue of choices and preferences you make, so think instead of aligning the time you spend with what values and creates the right impact. Prioritizing work life integration allows you to make a smooth transition between activities from your work and life that bring you fulfilment regardless of the time or location.

3 Step Process to A Healthier Work Life Integration:

  1. Reflect for what values the most:

Identify your values and clarify what matters the most to you – these can be things you are best at, your skills and the passions you want to pursue. Then, evaluate if you are spending your time consistently with your values. This can be easily achieved by keeping record for a week of how you are spending your time and whether your schedule is designed in a way that works for your values or contradicts with it. You might need to come back and forth as your priorities change over a period of time – so reflection is the key!

  1. Have conversations to add in perspectives:

After you reflect and identify on how you want to invest your time, have conversations with friends and family. Inquire them about how they think you can do things in a different way. Your peers at work and most importantly your Team lead might also be able to add more value on how you can put your skills to better use at work. For example, working on new projects might challenge your creative side, or having flexibility in working hours may boosts your productivity.

  1. Write down the Plan:

Imagine your plan as a project you are working on, now manage like you would do to make it a success. Develop a schedule that supports you to achieve what is important for your personal and professional goals. Creating the plan and then living by it intentionally is what’s going to increase your effectiveness and the energy you have to accomplish more for yourself leading to a sense of greater well integrated work and life.