We recommend keeping at least one eye open if you "try this at home".
Work-life balance is SO 20th century. If we have learned anything this century, and especially with the exponential increase in working from home, it's more about "work-life integration".
The reality of our daily lives is that the boundaries that used to exist (even if they were "false premises" themselves) between work and life have bled into each other in ways that would be unrecognizable just a short time ago. The integration of these two experiences is not only necessary but also happening whether we know it or not. Let's break down what we mean.
Our human activities may differ but our experiences are very similar.
Humans are one integrated organism that synthesizes all stimuli into one construction of our reality/life. Therapy teaches us the critical nature that integrating experiences (including difficult ones) into our self-concept is to healing rather than an attempt to “forget about, get over, ignore, or move on. This is no less true for how we approach the integration of key domains of our lives such as work. Sure, the activities of the domains of our lives differ, but there is no escaping that we are one organism needing to synthesize it all.
Work/life integration may feel uncomfortable but there's a fix for that.
Those blurred lines are a flawed construct created by our societal culture. The good news is, the more psychologically safe a work environment/team environment is, the less you have to worry about holding up the illusion. There is space and understanding enough to have permission to be the complex human beings that we are.
I already share a project, do I need to share the same perspective now, too?
Not only is this NOT necessary to have a psychologically safe dynamic between others on our team but it's also not healthy. Phew! Drawing from attachment theory, there are four core qualities of being that actually determine what makes someone trust someone and engage in a psychologically safe space, and none of those require agreeing on sports teams, politics, religion, or which Karaoke song to sing at the holiday party.
Work. Life. Let's not forget about play.
Ever get the feeling we sometimes treat work like a life-or-death proposition? To our nervous systems, at least, it sort of is! Between addressing Maslow's hierarchy of needs and quelling our ego, which is on the front line of all those societal pressures, it is little wonder so much of our identity is often linked to and validated by our particular status, vocationally. But play can serve as that cool roommate you wish you had - telling you to let loose every now and then to enjoy the proverbial ride. A little humor deserves to make it somewhere on both your work and life "to-do" lists.
The VITAL5 ROUNDUP– Balance Schmalance
1. Bye balance, hello integration – your life doesn't stop at work and vice-versa
2. Our experience is one – we synthesize experiences, not activities, collectively
3. Discomfort is ok if... – your group feels safe with each other as they are
4. Trust is key – perspectives are respected, and psychological safety is set
5. Play to pay – inject some fun, decrease the stress, and see the payoff
VitalConex is a connect-and-create company. To learn more about the "peanut butter cup" of successful teams, check us out at www.vitalconex.com