How about “Life-Work” balance rather than “Work-Life” balance?
The COVID pandemic and subsequent Great Resignation have been a wake-up call for a lot of people. A number of thought-leaders, including Adam Grant and Jen Fisher & Arianna Huffington, are suggesting we need to rethink our priorities.
Adam Grant, in his article in The Wall Street Journal, suggests that this is a trend that started years ago with Millennials who value their “net freedom” more than their “net worth.”
Going further, Grant points out that people want choice beyond working from home or in an office. They want to choose the projects they are working on, when they are doing it, and with whom they are working. Wow – talk about a revolution.
This change in mindset is opening up an entirely new competition for talent. As Grant says: “It might be time to start planning our work around our lives.” The more people think this way, the more often workplaces are going to need to be flexible.
*Obviously this means being open to partial or permanent telework.
*What does the workday look like? Maybe it ends at 3:00 p.m..
*What does the work week look like? Many companies are experimenting with the four-day work week.
*We need to rethink work boundaries. For example, maybe only schedule meetings in the afternoon so people can get “deep work” (as per Grant) done in the mornings.
*Mix up phone meetings with Zoom meetings. Zoom fatigue is real.
As Fischer & Huffington say, the shift in mindset is going from Work-Life Balance to Life-Work Integration. Those of us who make the shift are going to be more successful attracting the best and brightest to our missions.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Grant, A. “The Real Meaning of Freedom at Work,” The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2021. And: Fischer, J. & Huffington, A. “Now is the Time for ‘Life-Work Integration’,” Thrive Global online, January 24, 2022.