business, business women, women in business, work-life balance

Work-life balance is outdated! Top execs are shifting to ‘work-life integration’

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Many business women these days think ‘work-life balance’ doesn’t reflect the way they juggle their work and family responsibilities anymore. Modern technology allows for ‘work-life integration’, or even ‘work-life harmony’ and this might actually be beneficial in many ways.

The key idea of ‘work-life balance’ is to divide these two spheres and never mix them. In other words, being all in at the office, avoiding distracting phone calls and being totally focused on work and, in your free time, leaving work behind and enjoying family fully.

In truth, there’s nothing wrong with mixing work and life so, while you’re still focused and present as the boss, you can also enjoy being a loving mother and wife. Modern day technology allows us to stay tuned on work duties … even if you’re on a remote island.

Here’s how Kristin Lemkau, the CMO of JPMorgan Chase USA, does it:  “I’m at my son’s soccer game on Mother’s Day in the driving rain and 7 degrees. He’s on the bench, I can get a couple of emails done. He’s playing. I’m totally there.”

business, business women, women in business, work-life balance

The nicest thing is that ‘integration’ works both ways. While you’re certainly expected to do more work from home, you’re also allowed to bring more ‘life’ aspects into your workday. Katharine Zaleski, Co-founder of Power to Fly, a recruiting platform for women in tech, says: “You have to respect the fact that people are going to be putting so much time into your company, so it’s OK that they integrate some life into the workday.” Like picking up a kid at 4 o’clock, for example.

Weebly CFO Kim Jabal has been practising work-life integration for quite a while now. Here’s what her daily schedule looks like: “Home an hour in the morning, get kids to school, work in the office 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., have dinner with kids, work three hours at night.”

Reportedly the richest man in modern history, Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) is convinced that it’s more productive to see work and life as a circle instead of a balance. And we have at least 150 billion reasons to trust him! Find out if Bay of Plenty locals agree?