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The Secret to Work-Life Balance: Work-Life Integration

Abraham Mendieta | October 28, 2022

Live to work or work to live?

Many employees just entering the workforce expect the latter. Younger generations increasingly look to their prospective employers when it comes to addressing the age-old problem of balancing work and life. This preference isn’t limited to younger workers. A study from Pew Research Center revealed 47% of Americans believe their job is just something they do for a living, not part of their identity.

Innovative companies see the writing on the wall: It’s time to end the balancing act and embrace the idea of work-life integration.

What is work-life integration?

While the concept of work-life balance suggests that work and personal lives should remain separate, work-life integration seeks to bring those compartmented lives closer together. The philosophy of work-life integration recognizes employees as whole individuals with interests, joys and responsibilities both in and outside of work.

Some HR professionals interpret the idea of work-life integration to mean flexibility in scheduling. Others go so far as to take the concept literally with programs allowing employees to bring their pets or children with them to the office.

In a more abstract sense, proponents of work-life integration see it as a philosophical approach viewing an employee as a whole person for whom work and life can blend together in a variety of ways.

Positive forms of work-life integration in a workplace might include:

  • providing growth and development opportunities for both professional and personal pursuits
  • celebrating both personal and professional achievement
  • providing benefits addressing the well-being of the employee and their family (pets included!)

How to achieve work-life integration

There is no such thing as a perfect balance between work and personal life. Work-life integration seeks to end this power struggle and instead encourages harmony between the two.

Here are a few steps you can take to proactively practice work-life integration.

1. Use company programs and services

Personal needs don’t end when the workday is over. Many companies, including Paycom, recognize this and offer a variety of benefits designed to promote work-life integration. Ask potential employers what they provide.

In-office amenities like gyms or cafeterias can empower employees to pursue healthier lifestyles. To address stress and mental health, employee assistance programs can offer connections to a variety of programs, from informal support groups to professional counseling.

Development is a must for modern employees. Organizations focused on retention should help employees develop professionally and provide ways for them to develop personally. Organizations like Toastmasters, for example, help individuals strengthen their public speaking skills.

And finally, after you’ve been hired and need to unplug, using your PTO is a great way to relax and reset before diving back into your work.

2. Reassess your professional goals

Offering ways to better connect with a workplace may not address the underlying issue plaguing the traditional idea of work-life balance. For the working-to-live segment of the workforce, the main problem may be the amount of time consumed by an unfulfilling professional role.

According to Gallup’s 2022 State of the Workplace report, 60% of people feel emotionally detached at work. Careers can become a source of passion and happiness when you’re in the right place. But if you aren’t excited to come to work, you may want to ask yourself some questions about your professional needs and goals, such as:

  • Am I challenged in my current position, or would I like to reskill?
  • Is there a clear path for me to learn new skills and grow in my role?
  • Does my workplace provide opportunities to build relationships with my team members?
  • Does my workplace support my well-being — mental, physical and financial?

When you find a work environment that champions and celebrates work-life integration, you find a place where it’s easier for your long-term goals to become reality.

Take the first step toward work-life integration. Learn more about opportunities at Paycom at paycom.com/careers and apply today!

About the author
Author picture, Abraham Mendieta
Abraham Mendieta
As Paycom’s Recruiting Marketer, Abraham Mendieta helps the recruiting teams engage top talent and increase brand awareness. Mendieta is a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned degrees in both sociology and advertising. His efforts on Paycom’s recruitment marketing team include company culture; careers; and diversity, inclusion and belonging. Outside work, Abraham enjoys reading, going to the gym, spending time outdoors and hanging out with his family and friends.