Today. Is it possible to completely separate your work and personal life? David Solomon, global co-head of Goldman Sachs, believes that technology has made us all “available 24/7.
Forget balance, the new buzzword in workplaces these days is work-life integration. An approach that creates more synergies apart from achieving your goals between all the areas that define life. Such as work, family/home, personal well-being, health and community. Technological tools have created new ways for us to collaborate and work virtually. Bringing with them tailored alternatives for work schedule flexibility.
Here’s how we can strive for Work Life Integration:
- Recognize your needs : A work-life strategy can never be a one-size-fits-all approach. Every employee will have different life needs at different stages in their life and career. For this, think of your life in terms of four domains – work, home, community and self – and create a “four-way attention chart”. The goal is for every day to be a “four-way win,” or fulfilling on all four levels.
- Ask for Work Flexibility: First, check if your company has any existing flexi-time policies in place. If they don’t, set aside time to meet with your manager and make your case. Do your research – check if other companies in your industry offer flexibility as a standard option. If your manager still appears reluctant, suggest starting out with a trial run.
- Take your time off : You may think not using up your vacation days will take you far but that’s far from the truth. A research in 2012 at University of Tampere in Finland shows that taking a trip, especially if you head to a different environment, has solid brain benefits but that these benefits scatter quickly and need to be replenished often. This is when integration will take its flight!
- Build small breaks into your day : The human body isn’t designed to sit and stare at a screen for eight straight hours so a little downtime is a must. Breaks banish monotony, and make you happier, more focused and productive in the long term.
- Force yourself to switch off : You come back home and reply to emails till past midnight and are working on presentations with breakfast. It’s no wonder that work takes over your life. Unplugging will help you recharge and start afresh. Try staying away from work-related things from dinner till breakfast time.
- Pay attention to your body’s natural rhythms : Most people tend to be either early birds or night owls, so paying attention to your body’s natural rhythms and patterns will help you make the most of your time. Aim to get your most important work done during the hours when you’re at your most focused.
- Focus on productivity, not hours : It’s not uncommon to focus on hours at work instead of results. But punching a time clock isn’t your contribution at work; focus instead on the value you create during the workday. Prioritizing your assignments and setting self-imposed deadlines will help. Try entrepreneur Steve Olenski’s “two-minute rule” – if you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. This helps avert pile-ups at work.