We’re not fans of the phrase ‘work-life balance’ here at Apex HR. It implies a difference between work and life. There cannot be a difference, we are all living our lives, it just happens to be some of the time we are doing this thing called ‘work’.
Irrespective of the semantics, for many people it is clear we spend a lot of our lives working.
Apex HR believes everyone should have the right to work in an environment where they can thrive. Given the important role work plays in many of our lives this is an imperative.
Successful, values-driven organisations understand this. They get the importance of genuine human connection. They appreciate the need to create a positive experience for people at work. They move beyond mundane existence at work to something more meaningful and purposeful.
Yet too many organisations still don’t get this. They continue to treat their people as resources to be disregarded at the first hint of difficulty. Even worse, the working environment in many organisations is toxic, which damages individual health. Too many people experience burn out, do not feel psychologically safe with excessive control systems whilst at work. This crushes the human spirit and erodes self-confidence.
We desperately need to shift this mindset. It damages lives and damages business. No one benefits.
When we authentically put people first, it creates positive ripples. These ripples extend beyond the boundaries of the workplace and permeate into families, communities and wider society. Good things start to happen. We raise the bar.
It’s why we prefer the phrase ‘life-work integration’. We think this is a better alternative to ‘work-life balance’. It recognises that the role work plays in our lives is becoming increasingly blurred. It views our lives and the role work plays within it more holistically. At Apex HR we think this is a great thing, to see ‘work’ as a life-enriching experience for people which supports their growth and development.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it just needs to start. We can choose to adopt a different mindset and consider ‘work’ in a fundamentally new and exciting way. We can choose to let go of rigid overly controlling management systems if we want to.
All journeys begin with a single step. One conversation, one moment of bravery, a willingness to ask a relevant question can set in motion new ways of thinking and working. One random act of kindness or compassion could become a catalyst for positive change in organisations.
Let’s do all we can to build people up and help them to be the very best they can be. Having a harmonious life-work integration is something more and more people are rightly demanding. They increasingly demand flexibility as standard. The pandemic has accelerated positive demand for change in this area. Organisations everywhere would do well to consider how they adapt for these new realities.