One of the few moments in my life where I’m almost
guaranteed not to be thinking about work.
And that’s exactly how I like it.
I previously reported on an an interview with Lotte Bailyn of MIT, who works to:
…rethink aspects of work in such a way that employees are able to live up to their highest potential in their work, and are also able to integrate their work with their personal lives. That is what we call the dual agenda.
That’s interesting work, and one of the most interesting things is that they specifically DO NOT talk about work-life balance:
We specifically do not use the term “balance” because it connotes that these two domains in people’s lives have to be equal; that it’s a balance scale – hence if one goes up, the other goes down. The underlying premise of our work is that this need not necessarily be so. We talk about “the integration of work and personal life” to show that work is also part of life. The term “work-life” implies that somehow the two are different, and of course they are not. Work is obviously an important part of life but shouldn’t be the only part.
That’s a very good point. Actually, I’d take it one step further. Looking at my own life, I certainly don’t see a work life and a private life. I just see one life, mine, being expressed in different aspects. And these aspects are so mixed and so mutually dependent, that it makes no sense to attempt to separate them. They are already as integrated as they can be, and there seems to be no time where I am 100% at work or 100% off work. I’m always just me, living my life.
If I could only work from 9 to 5 on weekdays and only “live” the rest of the time I would be much less happy than I am today. But then again, I’m an entrepreneur and self-employed. I have no demands on me, except for my own. If I had a boss (shudder) to report to, it might be a very different story.
That may be why some people who live like this find that work takes over and leaves little or no room for their private life. But that’s not integration, that’s more like disintegration :o)
What do you think? Do you prefer a clear separation between work and non-work? Do you want balance or integration?