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Worklife Balance Or Integration – What’s The Difference?

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Click to read: Worklife Balance Or Integration – What’s The Difference?

Source: Forbes

Snippet: Most people have heard the term “work-life balance.” But the phrase “work-life integration” has been gaining popularity. This comes up sometimes when people don’t want the ‘measurement pressure’, that seems to come with a ‘balance’.

This has given way to headlines such as “work-life balance is dead” and “work-life integration: the new norm.” Despite the growing popularity of work-life integration, is there really a difference between it and work-life balance?

According to the word “integrate” is defined as “to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole.” Thereby concluding that work-life integration focuses on incorporating the different area’s of one’s life to create a whole picture.

Balance, on the other hand, has almost twice as many definitions on Merriam-Webster including, “stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side of the vertical axis.” The Oxford Dictionary defines “balance” as “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”

Many people tend to focus on “the even distribution” part of the balance definition when discussing work-life balance.

In fact, Berkeley Haas School Of Business notes the traditional image of a scale, an image often associated with work-life balance, “creates a sense of competition between the two elements.” Implying that the two worlds must exist on either side of the “vertical axis,” also known as the individual in this case.

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Why A Work-Life Balance Scoreboard?

According to a Harvard Business School survey, 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week.

“… when the assumption that everyone needs to be always available was collectively challenged, not only could individuals take time off, but their work actually benefited.”

The EU Gender Equality Index 2019 focuses on Work-Life Balance (WLB). The EU WLB scoreboard cuts across three broad areas {paid work, unpaid work (care) and education and training}. These is presented with 15 indicators in six specific areas of concern.


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