Work-Life Balance vs Work-Life Integration

Given the different demands of life, you need to pay attention to your well-being to keep your sanity. Thus, drawing a clear boundary between your work life and personal life is essential. Generally speaking, employees spend more hours at work than their life outside their profession. This also happens with other entrepreneurs who don’t want to delegate tasks to other people. Whatever your work right now, you have to enjoy life by not being so absorbed with your job. Good thing there are 2 options on how to do it. It’s either work-life balance or work-life integration. Know first the difference for you to decide which one is better for your lifestyle.        

Work-Life Balance vs Work-Life Integration: Which One is For You?     

Work-Life Balance  

Work-life balance is having a fixed rule about the time you should work and the time you should live your personal life. One example is going to work 5 minutes before time and do your tasks until 12nn. Have a break for 1 hour and resume working until 5 pm with occasional breaks. Yes, you’re also given enough time to take a rest during office hours though it’s controlled, of course. At 5 pm, you leave your work behind and don’t entertain any work-related phone calls during the hours outside the defined work schedule. Also, you’re given enough vacation leave credits to enjoy your life. It’s purely for your personal matters. Thus, your boss respects that you don’t open emails even for a minute whenever you’re on vacation even if it’s an urgent concern. Work-life balance is having a fixed boundary as to when to work and when to do other life priorities.  

Work-Life Integration     

Work-life integration is incorporating your work with other aspects of life. It allows you to shape your workday according to your needs. It’s like sending first your kids to school before you start working at 10 am and finish your tasks around 3 pm. After that, you go to school to pick up your kids. At 5 pm, you go playing volleyball and come back home at around 7 pm to cook dinner. Finally, in the evening, you respond to emails before going to bed. You can always plan your day whichever way you want to as long as work is not compromised and personal life is still given quality time. This is not only for entrepreneurs and freelancers. Some employees can also have this structure depending on their job contract and privileges granted by their companies.     

Now that you know the difference between work-life balance and work-life integration, have you decided which one is for you? Though work-life integration is more flexible than work-life balance, it doesn’t mean it’s better than the other. It always depends on your personality and desired lifestyle. Some people want a fixed work schedule. On the other hand, there are those who want a flexible one. So, for you to decide which one is better, you have to assess your own needs, personality, and life goals.    

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

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