The Balancing Act ⚖️

Hi folks! 👋

This is Mariam Mushtaq, bringing to you this week’s second edition of HR Brain Pickings. 😊

In this issue we are going to explore the concept of “work-life balance” and the psychology behind it. 🕵️‍♀️

Whether you are trying to incorporate this balance for you personally or in the process of launching initiatives that encourage work-life balance - let’s dig a little deeper to understand what it even means to have a work-life balance.

Redefining Balance

Rewind to the 1970s, the era of bell-bottoms, 🕺 marking the rise of Work-Life Balance (WLB). Back then, the focus was on balancing work with family life, a significant shift as more women joined the workforce. 🚀

But here's a key point we need to remind people even today: WLB isn't just a 'women's issue'. 🙅‍♀️

WLB is applicable to everyone. It's about creating a balance where career ambitions and personal life mesh smoothly. 🎯

- Research shows that 63% of managers and 59% of employees have considered quitting their jobs due to poor work-life balance and burnout.

- Another survey found that 46% of Gen Zs and 45% of millennials said they feel burnt out from the intensity of their workloads.

The state of work-life balance isn't very ideal currently, is it? 😥

Both working from home and in-office roles come with their own set of advantages and challenges. The key is prioritizing balance to prevent burnout. ❌

Impact of WLB that benefit both employees and employers

  • Better Time Management for Employees: Ever found yourself squeezing in a doctor's appointment during lunch breaks? A good WLB means more time for personal chores without eating into work hours. This leads to fewer sick leaves and reduced turnover. 🚗👩‍⚕️

  • Improvement in Diversity: According to a Forbes study, flexible hours improve the recruitment and retention of women and people of color, especially those in management.

  • Boost in Job Satisfaction & Productivity: How do you feel about your job when you've got time for yourself? People with a balanced lifestyle often report loving their jobs more, which means less thinking about quitting and more of being a productivity powerhouse! 💪🏼🖥️

  • Improved Company Reputation: Who doesn’t want to work at a place that puts their employees first? With a focus on WLB initiatives, not only does it boost reputation and improve employee retention but employees also have a sense of pride and loyalty towards their company.

By fostering an environment that values both professional success and personal well-being, companies can create a more satisfied, productive, and loyal workforce. 🌟

Models of Work-Life Balance 🧠

Let’s unpack 8 intriguing theories and models that psychologists have developed to explain how WLB can be perceived by different individuals:

  1. Segmentation 🚪: Picture two separate rooms – one for work, one for life. What happens in one room stays there, without influencing the other. It's like having two distinct worlds.

  2. Spillover 💧: Imagine a cup of tea spilling over; what happens in work can trickle into personal life, and vice versa. These influences can be either uplifting or draining.

  3. Compensation ⚖️: Ever tried to balance a bad day at work with a fun evening? That's compensation. We actively seek to offset dissatisfaction in one area by finding joy in another.

  4. Resource Drain 🔋: Think of your energy as a battery. Sometimes, charging up in one area (like work) might mean draining power from another (like your personal life). It's all about managing that energy.

  5. Instrumental 🛠️: Choices in one domain can be tools for success in another. It's like using experiences from work to enhance your personal life, or vice versa.

  6. Congruence 🔄: Here, a third factor, like your personality or social circle, makes experiences in both work and life feel similar. It's like a common thread running through both areas.

  7. Conflict ⚔️: Ever felt torn between work deadlines and family time? That's conflict. Our limited resources are stretched across different domains, causing stress and sometimes a tug-of-war between responsibilities.

  8. Spillover-Crossover 🌊➡️👥: This model suggests that what happens in our work or personal life doesn’t just affect us but also spills over to impact those around us. Think of it as a ripple effect from our experiences influencing others’ wellbeing.


Work-Life Balance Integration? 💡

Let's briefly explore work-life integration, which basically shakes up the traditional idea of Work-Life Balance.

Instead of viewing work and personal life as separate, it sees them as interconnected. 🌐 Work-life integration sits somewhere between complete separation and total overlap. 🔄

Community's Role in Integration

Your community (including your employer, coworkers, friends and family) can either support or impede our success in both work and personal life. This can include:

  • Understanding and supporting different roles in life. 🎭

  • Setting flexible rules for behavior at home and work. 📜

  • Addressing behaviors that aid or hinder success. 🔄

  • Identifying and accessing necessary resources for both home and work. 🛠️

  • Managing relationships, both professional and personal. 💞

  • Balancing various responsibilities effectively. ⚖️

Work-life integration challenges us to rethink the traditional boundaries between our professional and personal lives. Achieving this balance is a collaborative effort that requires understanding, flexibility, and support from all spheres of our lives.🌟

10-Minute Watch 📺

Grab a cup of coffee and watch this Ted Talk by Nigel Marsh on his hilarious take on making work-life balance work. ⏰

Today’s Key Takeaways 🗒️

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