Is Work Life Integration Now Becoming The Norm?
Years ago, previous generations would go to the office, do their work and then come home and lead entirely different lives. Today, work and home life are often melded together to form one singular lifestyle. A work life integration has become so popular that many new company start-ups have made it a part of how they do business. But what does this mean exactly?
What is work life integration?
Work life integration is essentially taking work home with you. It’s any time you are doing anything business related “off-the-clock.” This includes checking work emails, taking phone-calls, and scheduling meetings. Because of this new technological era, it is now possible to stay connected to our work lives 24 hours a day (thank you smart phones and tablets). This new culture has shifted the whole notion that work should be left at the office. According to Forbes, 61 percent of employees are willing to work on vacation, 98 percent of executives check their email during off hours, and 63 percent of workers check work emails every hour or two.
Is This Devotion A Good Thing?
If you are in a happy and healthy work environment, putting in a few more extra hours at home won’t hurt that much. Many would argue that this kind of lifestyle is good and makes for a passionate and invested worker. For instance, former AtTask CEO and entrepreneur Scott Johnson states, “We expect our people, some of whom have no future guarantees beyond the promise of a paycheck, to have their hearts in their work.” Johnson adds by creating a “heart-friendly” environment, one that promotes autonomy, allows failure, acknowledges success and expresses gratitude all the way through ranks makes the integration of both job and private life a smoother process.
A Labor Of Love
People who do devote their lives’ to their work, generally enjoy it, and usually love it. Which makes work life integration painless and easily adaptable. When young entrepreneurs start a new a business, there is so much to do and organize that spare time becomes an afterthought. So enjoying their ambitious endeavor is a must.
Entrepreneur.com advises is, “Do what you do extremely well, and surround yourself with people who do what they do extremely well. If you can’t do what you love, love what you do. If you find something to be passionate about, even if it’s not your first passion, and really use all your experiences from everything else that you’re capable of, just develop whatever it is.” It’s exceedingly important to trust yourself and your instincts in everything you do. You’ll know what works for you.
Because of technology and the development of various resources, more people than ever work from home or from a remote location. This means work life integration can add more fun in your life. You are not beholden to an office. Since you can be remote, you can set your own schedule, take a meeting at your favorite restaurant, or even hop on a conference call at the beach.
And this trend is only likely to increase over-time as we discover new and innovative ways to communicate over distances. This usually makes work more efficient, but also makes escaping it very difficult. Each generation has adapted to their circumstances and period and we as Millennials have done the same. Only this time, we’re having fun with it and giving “work” some extra perks.
Going to work doesn’t have to be a chore. If you find the right career, work and life will just be part of an integrated daily routine. Some of us may be reluctant to surrender our lives to our careers, but for those of us who eat, sleep, and breathe our work, it’s not such a bad thing.
Andrew is a graduate of McDaniel College (’13). He is also an aspiring writer and stand-up comedian. He believes that if you are passionate about something, you should go for it! Life is too short for question marks, live life to the fullest while exploring your dreams and see what happens! Andrew presently lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.