Work Life Integration
Last week, my wife was telling me about her day trip to downtown Chicago – jazzed after having returned from a day of professional development, meeting with fellow business leaders, and discussing potential career opportunities. As she wrapped up the summary of her day, she admitted that the professional environment and “bright lights/big city” had really gotten her excited about what might be around the corner. Obviously, I was excited for her – but her confession was a bit different than what I had been hearing from her over the previous few weeks.
As background, my wife, a highly successful finance executive, chose to leave her employer after helping to shepherd her company through an exhausting, high profile merger. Almost overnight, she found herself knocking out projects that have been on our collective “to-do” lists for years – digitizing old home videos, weatherproofing the front porch chairs, and organizing 3 moves worth of “treasures” in our basement and attic, to name a few. She has been in heaven! Every time she wrapped up a project and pointed herself towards the next – I’d overhear her say “how am I ever going to go back to work!” I found myself wondering if this could be interpreted as storm clouds on the horizon, but what stood out to me the most was how important both aspects of her life, the successful company executive and the fearless tackler of one household project after another, were to her happiness.
Her enthusiasm and contagious motivation reinforced something that I have believed for sometime. Namely that, no matter where you are in your life journey – intentionally giving yourself to your work, to your play, AND (not or!) to the relationships that define your community (family, friends, colleagues) is more than just “the right thing to do” – it must be your aspiration!
Work Life Balance vs Work Life Integration
Recently, Business Insider shared the strategies that 17 highly successful executives employ to balance their work and life. While reading through these strategies, I found that the executives consistently espouse two strong themes:
- The focus on being successful at AND outside of work made them better employees, family members, and friends.
- To make this work-life integration truly work,they had to inject flexibility of place and time into their lives, allowing them to more quickly and effectively “pivot” to the next most important marginal priority.
Of course, achieving balance is by no means easy. In fact, I believe that there’s so much hype around the concept of “work-life balance,” because the thought of actually being fully present and enthusiastic about everything we do seems so farfetched. How can we possibly give our relationships the complete attention they deserve, while being the best professional managers and team members possible, all while being 100% present and passionate about it all!?
At LifeWorking Enterprises, a new coworking company in North Chicagoland, we believe that work life integration and work-life balance is achievable and intentionally focusing on all aspects of your life offers a richness and diversity of experience and highlights the importance of choice. This belief is actually core to our vision – “Live Life. Do More.” At LifeWorking, we aspire to be a “place” that enables you to play more, to work more, and to be more of what and who you want to be. We do this by bringing “work” closer to “play” and “live” – in a way that helps you be your most productive and recognizes and supports the value of ALL aspects of your life.
Does your work-life integration need a little recalibrating? Check out LifeWorking Enterprises – and let us be part of your Life – Working! Live Life. Do More. LifeWorking.