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Work-Life Balance and Wellbeing: An Important Combination

In recent years, the concept of work-life balance has taken on great importance in the world of work. However, in recent times, especially post-pandemic, in the world of work defined as BANI (fragile, anxious, non-linear and incomprehensible) a new approach, called "work-life integration" (integration between professional and private life), has gained popularity . In this article, we will examine the difference between work-life balance and work-life integration, and discuss which approach might be better for promoting corporate well-being.


What is meant by work-life balance?

Work-life balance refers to the idea of equally balancing the time and energy devoted to work and private life . It's about finding a balance between professional and personal responsibilities, ensuring that neither sphere takes over the other. However, thinking about work-life balance in the hybrid world, where the boundaries between private and professional life are fluid, is now impossible. Here a new concept comes into play: work-life integration.


What is meant by work-life integration?

Work-life integration is based on the idea of combining work and personal life in a more synergistic way. On the other hand, we also live while we are at work, it's not like our life suddenly stops! Instead of rigidly separating the two, integration allows you to combine professional and personal activities in more fluid ways. For example, it could allow employees to work flexible hours or from home, allowing them to manage their personal responsibilities without compromising work efficiency. The risk of work-life integration, which we often hear when speaking with hundreds of corporates and SMEs looking for solutions for corporate well-being, is getting people used to this new way of experiencing work.


What are the key differences between work-life balance and work-life integration?

The main differences between work-life balance and work-life integration are:

  1. Approach: work-life balance focuses on the separation of work and personal spheres, trying to maintain a clear boundary between them. On the other hand, work-life integration seeks to create synergies between work and personal life, trying to find ways to combine the two spheres in a more harmonious way.

  2. Work flexibility and work-life balance policies: while work-life balance often requires a rigid time division between work and personal life, work-life integration offers greater flexibility. This can include flexible working hours, working from home or other forms of flexibility that allow employees to better adapt to their personal needs.

  3. Objective: Work-life balance aims to ensure a healthy balance between work and personal life to avoid burnout and promote well-being. On the other hand, work-life integration focuses on creating a work environment that supports and encourages the harmonious integration of work and personal responsibilities.

Do you want to discover the advantages of a good work-life integration? Read Trainect's tips in our blog!


Which approach is best for corporate well-being?

It is important to note that both approaches have advantages and limitations, and the choice between work-life balance and work-life integration depends on individual needs and preferences, as well as company culture and policies. Some employees may prefer a stricter balance between work and personal life, while others may appreciate the flexibility that integration offers more. It also depends on the type of business and the type of profession carried out.

The important thing is to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being and allows them to find a balance that is satisfying for them.


Adverse effects of work-life imbalance on health and well-being

The imbalance between work and personal life can have a significant impact on an individual's health and well-being. Here are some of the most common negative effects:

  1. Stress and Fatigue: Overworking without the right balance can lead to high levels of chronic stress and fatigue. Constant pressure and lack of free time can cause mental and physical health problems, such as anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances and general fatigue.

  2. Physical health problems: An imbalance between work and personal life can lead to reduced physical activity, poor eating habits and lack of time for self-care. This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and other physical ailments.

  3. Relationship problems: Lack of time dedicated to personal life can put a strain on personal relationships, such as those with partners, family and friends. Lack of connection and quality time spent with loved ones can cause tension, social isolation, and a sense of disconnection.

  4. Reduced satisfaction and quality of life: An imbalance between work and personal life can lead to reduced overall satisfaction and a lower quality of life. A sense of personal fulfillment, free time for hobbies and personal interests can be sacrificed due to work and this can lead to an overall feeling of dissatisfaction.

  5. Burnout: The constant imbalance between work and personal life can lead to burnout, a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive work pressure. Burnout can negatively impact mental health, reduce productivity and motivation, and may require a long recovery period.

Strategies to promote work-life balance in the company

Many companies are experiencing a transition from work-life balance to work-life integration without having the right tools to deal with this change which is, first of all, cultural.

In fact, it is a new way of experiencing work, which requires:

  • Organizational skills: knowing how to organize yourself is a key requirement to be able to integrate work and personal life. Otherwise, the risk is to experience a further state of stress, losing the advantages of flexibility

  • Effective management of meetings: meetings are a work tool and must be used only if necessary, i.e. if the activities cannot be resolved in an alternative way (asynchronous work, shared documents, etc.). Meetings must have an agenda, an agenda and always end with next steps. It is essential to clarify the expectations of the people involved in the meetings and invite only those strictly necessary

  • Work by objectives: the boundaries of work-life integration are marked by clear objectives and priorities. The working day must have a clear to do list, as well as weekly/monthly project deadlines.

  • Time management: if previously the "9-18" timetable marked the time in and out of the office, now it is necessary to learn to organize your time. The time boxing technique, for example, helps you focus on specific activities with focus, reducing external distractions

  • New leadership style: to make all this happen it is essential that leaders and managers create the conditions from above, through real behavior and first-person example.


Do you want to delve deeper into the topic of Work-Life Balance and Wellbeing?

Book a free call with our Wellbeing Designers who will help you understand the best solutions for your organization.

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