Is it possible to balance work and life?
The concept of work-life balance has been around for a long time and suggests that we need to find a way to make our work and personal lives weigh in the same (personal lives including everything in our entire world other than work).
**Cue the image of weighing scales utterly impossible to balance**
We’re led to believe that finding a way to balance these two parts can mean we achieve a sense of well-being and happiness. And yes finding a way to ensure all our priorities, values and relationships are allocated the appropriate time and energy will definitely help to lead a happier, less stressed and more fulfilled life. But with 52% of UK employees saying they don’t have a good work-life balance (Glassdoor, 2019) is this idea of balancing just two parts still relevant?
There are many parts to our world and as work and personal lives continue to blend, some argue that the idea of work-life balance may be outdated and unrealistic. Instead, they suggest that we embrace the concept of a work-life blend.
Work-life blend is the idea that work and personal life are not separate but instead integrated into one’s overall life. Instead of trying to achieve a ‘perfect’ balance, a work-life blend encourages us to find a way to integrate our work, personal lives and other elements in a way that works for us as individuals. This means that there is no clear boundary between work and personal life, but rather a constant ebb and flow between the two.
Some of the benefits of a work-life blend include:
- It allows you to be more flexible in your work and personal lives. For example, if you have a meeting in the morning, you might choose to work from home for a few hours before heading to the office. Alternatively, you might take a break during the day to attend a child’s school event and then catch up on work later in the evening.
- It can reduce stress and improve well-being. When you feel that you have more control over your schedule and can integrate work and personal responsibilities, it can reduce the feeling of being pulled in multiple directions. This, in turn, can lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and happiness.
While work-life blend can be beneficial, it may not work for everyone. Some individuals may prefer a clear separation between work and personal life, and that’s okay too. For me, boundaries and separation are key components I use to manage my workload and responsibilities.
Whether you prefer work-life balance or work-life blend, the important thing to remember is to take a holistic view of your life and what is happening in it.
It is not about pitting two parts against each other (work Vs life)
It’s considering health, relationships, work, family, ambition, values, and other important parts of your world to ensure you are investing the appropriate time and energy into each. Ultimately, however you achieve it, the key is to find a way that works for you and allows you to achieve a sense of well-being and happiness.
Which do you prefer balance or blend?
This article was written by Vicky Harrison, one of our partner coaches who helps driven women reclaim their confidence, manage mum guilt and boss their life, career and business. You can get in touch via her profile page.
May 1, 2023