Denver Staffing Agency - Work-Life Integration—A 2012 Workforce Reality

  • Posted by: J. Kent Gervasini |
  • 11/8/12 |
  • 10:45 AM
Denver Staffing Agency - Work-Life Integration—A 2012 Workforce Reality

When working with professional, career-minded Denver job seekers, Denver staffing agencies and recruiters are beginning to see a change from the concept of “work-life balance” to the reality of “work-life integration.” What’s the difference?

Work-Life Balance – A Concept
Wikipedia defines work-life balance as a concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family, and spiritual development/meditation). Related, though broader, terms include "lifestyle calm balance" and "life style choices."

Work-Life Integration – A Reality
The Employers Alliance defines work-life integration as an outcome of people exercising control and choice in their life to meet life’s challenges. This can be in terms of managing work responsibilities alongside their personal and family needs. The areas of a person’s life that require integration will change based on the individual’s life stages – it is constantly evolving.

Work and Life Are Not Separate from One Another, They Are Integrated
The popular press calls it “Work-Life Balance.” The problem with that description is that it suggests there is a tradeoff—that one side must be “up” and the other one “down” like a weight scale that has two sides to it. Using the word “balance” suggests that the two aspects are completely separate from one another. The reality is they are completed integrated. You can’t decouple work from other parts of your life. Our personal and professional lives of aren’t separate “containers” or 50/50 proposition.

Work-Life Navigation – Personal Logistics Management
Whether you are a young business professional or a highly experienced Denver executive, in order to be competitive, productive, and successful in work-life integration, work-life navigation is a must. As you navigate, you’re constantly “checking in” with all the people in your work-life. You are constantly reorienting and reconfiguring the logistics in your life to make it all work. There’s a constant shifting due to changes in one’s life. It’s not 50/50, it is fluid, and you have to navigate through it.

Exercise Control and Choice in Work and Life
Every financial recession teaches us something. The Great Recession of 2008, one of the worst recessions in modern times, has clarified the reality of work-life integration to many.  It has also brought to light the concept that work is totally separate from life—and the idea that a unique or balanced portion of time must be devoted to each is unrealistic. The reality that you can exercise control and choice in meeting life’s challenges is critical to relieving some of the stress in the lives of Denver's career oriented professionals. Therefore, depending upon your individual life-career stage, integrate and navigate as there will be a constant shifting required due to changes in your life. 

At the End of the Day
Surround yourself with people in your Work-Life that:

Respect You
Value You
Care about You
Teach You, &
Love You

The information in the article above is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, legal, and/or accounting advice.

Sources:  Fast Company: Strive for Work Life Integration, Not Balance, The Employers Alliance, Wikipedia

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