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Guide

Work-Life Balance Should Really Be Work-Life Integration

It's time to consider a better approach about how to better integrate one’s work life within their personal life. Here's how to make those adjustments.

 
Aaron McDaniel, author of the book, The Young Professional’s Guide to Managing, suggests that creating a work-life balance has become problematic for many in the workforce, as technology has created an environment where everyone is almost always “ON.” A better approach might be to consider how to better integrate one’s work life within their personal life.
 
For many, the lines between work and personal life have become blurred as they answer text messages, emails, and phone calls before and after work on a regular basis. With this in mind, business leaders should reconsider how they foster a healthy attitude regarding work-life integration while still creating an environment where employees are engaged.
 
Although this Huffington Post survey is a little over a year old, the results are still relevant to business leaders focused on keeping their employees engaged and motivated. The survey suggests 91 percent of Americans say they are stressed during the month with 77 percent saying they “regularly” feel stress. The survey describes “regularly” as weekly or more often.
 
There were a lot of reasons identified as to why people feel stress but more than half of those surveyed identified work-related stress as the biggest stressor. In fact, full-time employees were more likely to bring this up than Americans in general (75 percent). Many answers relating to work stress spoke to the overwhelming pressure people face to do more than ever, in less time, and for the same amount of money or less.
 
As the economy improves, business leaders have a real opportunity to focus on helping their employees enjoy a healthy work-life integration by taking a few simple steps that will achieve significant results:
 
  1. Realize that every email or text message you send late into the evening or early in the morning will likely be read—and possibly even answered. Be considerate of employee’s personal time outside the office.
  2. Many business leaders work on email correspondence after hours or on weekends. If that describes you, batch those emails to be distributed first thing in the morning, during work hours, when employees are expecting them, not over a holiday weekend when they are trying to enjoy family time.
  3. Don’t expect heroic efforts every day. Most employees are very willing to spend extra time at work to help complete an important project or help get an initiative over the finish line. Nevertheless, if that’s a requirement of every day, it will become less and less effective. What’s more, a chronic dependence on heroic efforts to get the job done may be considered a warning sign of poor management and a project in trouble.
  4. Watching the clock is counterproductive. If employees are regularly answering emails and phone calls after hours, doesn’t it make sense to be more tolerant of someone who leaves the office at 5:00 pm? Instead of a focus on compensating for “hours” at their work, a focus on achievement and objective accomplishment may be more meaningful.
 

 

Although there is no easy answer to creating a more balanced or integrated environment, it’s a critical component to creating an engaged and productive workforce. And these simple suggestions will get your organization started in the right direction.
 
Talk to a Cadence Banker to learn how our solutions for your employees' benefits, retirement and banking needs can deliver cost savings and efficiencies for your business.
 
This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.


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