Work-Life Integration: An Employee Engagement Strategy

Employee engagement

I read an interesting article recently written by Jacob Morgan (Forbes, 2016), which spoke about HR trends for 2016 and the future, and one trend in particular resonated with me. The trend speaks about the shift from work-life balance to work-life integration, and this is something I have adopted for most of my career.

My perspective on work has always been to view it as an integral part of my life and not separate. The work I do has allowed me to do this. There are no specified working hours, and no traditional working day. My work is output driven, with the flexibility to sometimes work from the office, at client premises, from home or coffee shops. I do not view my work as separate from my life – they are one and the same and it keeps me engaged, happy, and focused, all of which contribute to delivery and performance.

For me work-life integration is very much an engagement strategy but it requires a certain type of organisational culture with mature, self-motivated employees. Additionally, a key driver behind work-life integration is technology. Modern technology allows employees (depending on the type of role they hold) to work from almost anywhere. Employees are almost always accessible. As the article says: “Instead of work being a place you go, work is now a thing you do. This means that work-life balance is dead and is being replaced by work-life integration. Work = life and life = work.”

I believe organisations with the right culture, and the right people can use this approach of work-life integration as an engagement strategy. Allow for flexibility, encourage employees to be output as opposed to time-driven, encourage the use of technology – foster the integration between life and work and attain the positive outcomes associated with employee engagement:

  • Higher profitability and productivity
  • Improvement in quality of work life
  • Lower absenteeism and turnover
  • Improved morale and health
  • Improved customer ratings
  • Improved quality