The term “work-life balance” gets thrown around quite a bit. I, personally, don’t love the term because balance implies that at some point you find an equilibrium where everything is given the same weight, attention and priority. If there is someone in this world who has managed to achieve that, PLEASE make contact!
I prefer to think in terms of “work-life integration.” Instead of trying to balance all of your competing priorities, integration is more about making the pieces of your life fit together in a way that works for you. In all likelihood, you won’t always (or ever) have a perfectly balanced life. There will be times when you will have to scale down at home to make time for demanding work responsibilities. Other times, you will find that you need to step away from your career priorities to focus on your children, your aging parents, or your partner or spouse.
The good news is that all of this is A-OK ,and more and more companies are understanding that employees are not just worker bees; they are whole people with rich lives that don’t stop when they step into the office. With this recognition, many companies offer flexibility in the form of reduced hour schedules, part-time work, and remote positions. These arrangements benefit everyone, but they are especially beneficial to women who continue to bear the majority of responsibilities at home.
My friends at Fairygodboss recently published a Work-Life Balance Guide to help women find positions that meet their flexibility requirements. If you’re on the hunt for a job that fits your lifestyle, this is a great tool to have in your back pocket. Another great site to check out is Werk, which lets you search for jobs with pre-negotiated types of flexibility.
Please also keep in mind that flexibility and work-life integration are not just women’s issues. Men are also increasingly looking for ways to better manage their work and personal lives, and we should all be in this fight together!
What are some of the ways you manage your work-life demands?