What Is Work-Life Integration?

8 min

According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, the most common stressors faced by working parents include:


1. Always feeling rushed
2. Not spending enough time with their children
3. Difficulty balancing work and family

It might be unpleasant to admit, but if you’re a working parent, you should expect to sometimes feel stressed, incompetent, or burnt out.

And that’s okay. It’s normal to occasionally feel that way.


What’s important to know is that you can do something about it. 
You can find healthy work-life integration.

So what are the traits of 

healthy work-life integration

First, it's authentic — built on the fact that you’re both a parent and professional. Your identity as a parent should be part of your work identity. That’s who you are. And being honest about that with colleagues will help you, not hurt you.

Second, healthy work-life integration is flexible. Structure your work schedule for flexibility. As long as you do good work, you can and should work hours that make the most sense for you.

Finally, work-life integration is disciplined. Discipline here simply means you’re diligent about setting boundaries both at work and at home.

Healthy work-life integration is:


1. Authentic
2. Flexible
3. Disciplined

Your colleague Simon is reluctant to tell clients and peers that he has twin girls, thinking it could hurt him professionally. In fact, he goes to great lengths hiding it, sometimes at the expense of his own productivity. What should you tell him?

Quiz 1 of 1

What should you tell Simon?

a
Being a father is part of who you are. But you’re right to think that it’s healthier to keep your work and home lives completely separate.
b
Being a father is part of who you are. You should feel comfortable bringing your whole self to work. Your manager might even take pity on you and give you less work.
c
Being a father is part of who you are. You should feel comfortable bringing your whole self to work. If your work and home lives coexist, you’ll feel more at ease and in control.
d
Being a father is part of who you are. You should try to work from home more. Try to work some flexibility into your schedule. You’ll have to tell your manager; just don’t tell your clients.

Strive for healthy work-life integration. The more you embrace it, the less daunting the demands of work and parenthood will feel.

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