Salary.com found that 64 percent of employees visit non-work-related websites every day during work hours, including social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Due to the increasing rate of technological advancement, the lines between home and office have become extremely blurred. Today, it is perfectly acceptable to check work emails over weekends and while on vacation. Now “work-life integration” is emerging as the new norm for management jobs, in order to integrate home and work more seamlessly.
The changing shape of the working day
For professionals in management jobs, focusing on work-life integration has a number of implications:
- We can stop feeling guilty about scheduling calls during our vacations or checking our emails at night.
- Going by the same logic, we can stop feeling guilty about talking with our friends and family members during work time.
- We can be more flexible about when and how we accomplish both work and personal goals.
The change is certainly an optimistic one. It means that professionals in senior positions and management jobs can now approach the workday differently. It’s no longer about completing work in a certain allotment of time (i.e. the stereotypical 9-5 workday). Instead, it’s about getting work done when it needs to get done. This is empowering for executives as it allows them to juggle their work and personal lives according to their own schedules. So in a sense, it’s senior professionals managing their own activities rather than the company.
The modern workplace
Gone are the days when employees stay late in the office just to show their boss how hard they are working. The Millennial employee prefers to work the expected time and leave office on time. Organizations too are supporting this trend – offering their employees incentives and benefits. Flexi hours, telecommuting, virtual working, and working from home are all increasingly becoming part of this work-life integration. These different working methods allow employees to feel more comfortable in their work environment, resulting in higher productivity levels.
Companies now also place more emphasis on their employees’ health by trying to keep stress levels low and energy levels high. Gyms, yoga sessions, and crèches are more commonly seen in offices today than they were before.
Another recent finding is that encashment of annual leave can result in overworked employees and impacts output levels. As a result, employees are encouraged to take the total number of days off they get during a year. This time away from work allows employees to recharge their batteries and keeps them motivated.
In addition, more and more people are maximizing their time “outside of work”. Pursuing a hobby or a passion – whether it’s a dance class or tennis match – is enriching their lives. Organizations can also join in by organizing events and activity workshops to keep employees inspired, and ultimately improve performance.