Even though the idea of balancing career goals, personal roles, and off-hour hobbies sounds like nirvana, it’s rarely achievable. Part of the reason is that the modern workforce is having to adapt to technological leaps forward. Once upon a time, work-life balance meant that you were able to build a wall between the office and the home; between your professional life, and personal life. But in the digitized, constantly connected world we live in, the line between home and work has blurred. As a result, people are increasingly chucking the idea of a perfect 50/50 split between work and life.
According to one survey, over 50% of people are living hybrid lives, and 32% of your company’s irreplaceables are spending more time at work over the last two years. So, what can HR leaders do to encourage this exciting new development? Below, are some ways to help your people attain perfect synergy:
Shift from daily to-do lists to weekly priority mapping
Synergy is all about seeing the forest for the trees. The problem with writing up a new set of tasks every day is that it’s easy for people to lose sight of overarching goals. Your people should be gently encouraged to spend a few minutes once a week to outline priorities for the following week. For example, Mondays can be reserved for workplace administrative tasks, Tuesday can be set aside for meetings, Wednesday can be blocked off for family time, etc. This approach effectively blends workplace responsibilities with off-hour activities.
Be physically and mentally present as often as possible
In this age of virtual reality and mobile-friendly messaging channels, it’s all too easy to become focused on multitasking. Thing is, we’re genetically hardwired to be unitaskers: we simply can’t effectively do two things at once without a workflow supported by automation that keeps team members aligned. To synergize work with life means that people should strive to give each one their undivided attention when it counts. The goal should be to be completely there, for both personal life experiences and work-related matters. Doing so will enhance the quality and long term meaning of all these events.
At work, love what you do and do what you love
Guess what: happiness matters. A recent survey showed that a high salary is not enough, and 69% of candidates will reconsider an offer if current employees don’t seem happy in their roles. One way that HR leaders can take steps to prevent their people from becoming demotivated and under-challenged is by continually offering advanced learning and professional growth opportunities. Doing so will enable your people to take not only take their careers a step further but branch out into other departments of areas of expertise. Instead of looking for inspiration outside of work, your people will be able to synergize their desire for meaningful pursuits within a supportive workplace culture.
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To thine own self be true with flexible work
With the workplace becoming more diverse than ever your company probably includes people from a wide variety of personal backgrounds and age groups. At different points in their lives, men and women are likely to change gears: putting a greater emphasis on career, and then shifting to such personal matters as starting and raising a family. HR should encourage this kind of self-awareness, and help its people synergize current priorities. Practically speaking, organizations that shift to a more flexible workforce model are more likely to stay relevant in this increasingly talent-driven landscape.
Work and life can live together, happily ever after. The traditional image of a scale associated with work-life balance creates a sense of competition between the two elements. The new name of the game is synergy. In today’s workplace, people are looking for customized careers that can help fulfill their desire to express their individuality. HR leaders that make work-life synergy a top priority are more likely to both attract and keep the best and brightest talents out there.