Walking into gym the other day and seeing someone do a leg press while being part of an important skype call for work has really cemented in me the idea that we are already living in the future. In the current day and age, the advancement of technology has brought forth the creation of more and more tools to enable new ways for people to collaborate and work virtually. This paradigm has allowed for specific tailored alternatives for work life integration in the 21st century. When talking about work in the past, many people strive for a work life balance –keeping work life and personal life strictly separated however we can see that trend is slowly shifting to a more integrated approach.
According to a research done by the Berkeley Hass Business School, the word ‘work life balance’ insinuates a binary opposition between work and personal life where there is a traditional image of scale associated with work and personal life that creates a sense of competition between the two elements. However, when they broke down elements of a person’s life and dug deeper into the human psyche, they have found that often times it is difficult for people to create a mental barrier between work and personal life.
Based on a New Yorker article, David Solomon, the global co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs says that technology has enabled people to work anytime of the day causing a lifestyle that propogates a way of life with almost no boundaries and no breaks from their work. Dean Douglass the CEO of Unify also echoes this sentiment, in an article he wrote, he said that being overworked is a currently global pastime that works against our success. Work fatigue always leads to being less effective and efficient. Over the years, many organisations have put the value of working harder- ie. Being physically present and imposing traditional models to track performance, over the value of working smarter ie: working when you are most productive.
As we move forward into the future, in order to maximize the changing lifestyle and working styles of the newer generation; it is important for ogranisations to support the ability for their employees to be able to work from wherever or whenever they want. However, when it comes to flexibility and freedom in the work place, many organisations are skeptical to its effectiveness in increasing the productivity and profitability of their organisation.
Many a time, the breakdown of the productivity and efficiency for employees to execute their work is because organisations do not have the framework to provide proper support and guidance on how to use the flexibility given to their employees. In instances like this when wanting to move forward towards a more integrated work and personal lifestyle, organisations would have to plan proper boundaries as well as provide support that will enable an easier shift towards integration. What organisations should start to look toward would be to implement the usage of tools such as meistertask, slack or droptask to keep track on work commitments, as well as implementing other structures that is in-built within the organsiational operational structure.