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 Understanding work-life balance. The impact of energy and purpose in building work-life balance

Understanding work-life balance. The impact of energy and purpose in building work-life balance

Finding a balance between work and personal life today is not an easy task. The digital world is increasingly integrated into work processes, blurring the line between work and personal life. Modern work-life balance, perhaps, requires not only a balance of time, but also a balance of energy.

What is work-life balance?

Determining work-life balance involves looking at how working people manage their time at work and outside of work. Time outside of work may include managing personal relationships, family responsibilities, and other outside interests and hobbies. The methods that a person uses to combine all his work and life requirements constitute the work-life balance.

The actual term "work-life balance" first appeared in the UK in the 80s as a basis for the women's liberation movement. The movement advocated flexible hours and maternity leave for women. While men were socially free to pursue their career goals without having to worry about running a household and raising a family, working women had to work and be responsible for housekeeping and raising children.

Today, work-life balance has shifted to include both issues and strategies to manage employee time effectively. The term has also expanded to include burnout prevention and stress management. Today's employees need better time management skills to spend time with their families and pursue their own personal interests.

One common and popular way employers help employees achieve work-life balance is through flexible schedules. Instead of a strict working day from 9 to 18, employees have the opportunity to change their schedule. Opportunity to work from 10:00 to 19:00 or from 7:00 to 16:00 with little advance schedule or confirmation.

Of course, this method also has its downsides. Some argue that this approach simply shifts time units and does not satisfy a deeper need for quality time. Others have observed that flexible working hours, while attractive to hire, can lead to adverse outcomes for young workers in the form of lower wages, poor workforce development, and so on.

Yet digital integration threatens the freedoms gained from flexible working hours, blurring the lines between work and life. It's getting harder to know where work ends and life begins. As technology and our culture are here to stay, discussions about work-life balance need to evolve.

The evolution of the concept of "work-life balance"

Many professionals call for work-life integration instead of work-life balance. They argue that by removing the boundaries between work and life, the two areas can be easily integrated.

While those who are focused on creating a work-life balance can set a time when they stop their work so that they have enough time for life activities, others who are focused on integrating work and life may leave work earlier. To go to his son's football game, for example, and answer e-mails at halftime.

It may seem that this vision is conceived by employers and implemented by private entrepreneurs. But this vision is still based on the idea of ​​two different areas - work and personal life, and a temporary compromise. The only significant difference between work-life balance and integration is that with integration, the two are expected to blend and increasingly overlap.

In fact, integrating work into personal life can further exacerbate the sense of imbalance because employees feel they need to be “always connected” to their employer.

The role of energy and purpose in work-life balance

The modern workforce is increasingly focused on meaningful work. Employee performance and growth measurements depend on new inputs such as purpose, creativity, engagement, and presence.

In this context, work-life balance also depends on these factors and time allocation is no longer sufficient to measure the correct work-life balance. Removing "balance" or "integration" from the equation and focusing on how we spend our energy rather than time can help reduce this tension.

It is important to realize that we all have important things to spend our energy on, but how we choose to use our energy and generate new energy is something we can control and is very important to our efforts to find balance. Between work and personal life in the future.

So, how do we maintain and even increase our energy throughout the day? It's just a goal. Some research shows that goal setting at work is a surefire way to stay alert throughout the day.

The definition of work-life balance in the future may look as if the employee and his employer share the belief that purpose at work and in life is of paramount importance. In this future, work may even begin to give us energy to feed and care for our personal interests, rather than drain it.

Thinking about work-life balance in terms of energy opens up the possibility of having a source of intrinsic motivation through which you can control your day, instead of a fixed source like time.