WITH technology becoming a mainstay in corporate life, the modern worker is casting out the notion of work-life balance to build a case for better work-life integration practices — where work and life are essentially intertwined.
Each new year sees many resolving to balance work duties and personal pastimes a little better.
Months later, most find themselves spending increasing amounts of time in the office due to an endless series of to-do tasks in any given workday.
Perhaps all it takes to ‘do it all’ — from dinner dates to deadlines — is a simple shift in the way one thinks about and schedules the things that need to be done.
Integrating these spheres of work and everything else can help one become more productive and enjoy what life has to offer.
Three things you can do now to reshape your current timetable and lifestyle to ‘have it all’ include taking advantage of technology.
Whilst having a work-life balance is something many strive for, in reality, it is not that simple to achieve — especially when the clear distinction between a nine-to-five job and personal time after work is increasingly blurred in this modern age when technology keeps one connected at all times.
How many times have you found yourself replying to urgent work emails after office hours simply because your smartphone notified you of their sudden appearance in your inbox?
Yet, technology can also enable you to align priorities with your schedule of errands, thus allowing you to combine both what life and your day job demands.
For example, the idea of sitting in an office in a nine-to-five job is less desirable to millennials, a generation of digital natives who are accustomed to being constantly connected with fewer distinct boundaries between work and play.
Prizing flexibility over their schedules means they are also open to working beyond traditional office hours. That does not mean they work less or more, but simply differently.
So just as you are able to reply work emails at night, do not feel guilty about spending the afternoons on personal preoccupations.
Personal pastimes help you to relax and stay healthy, which in turn will develop you into a better and potentially more productive worker.
After all, work-life integration is about alignment and harmony rather than sacrifice on either end. Additionally, modern communication tools allow you to work at any time and for colleagues to contact you.
Secondly, make your own perfect office space, on the go and anywhere. Because different work hours may also mean that you do not have to be stuck in an office to work on that million-dollar deal.
Even though most job contracts demand your appearance at the office on working days, not everyone is productive in an office environment.
Surrounded by technological advancements in their growing up years, millennials have been utilising technology to further their mobility and their professional footsteps beyond the confines of the office.
They are comfortable with asserting their virtual presence all the time regardless of location, whether through online chat apps or telecommunication apps like Skype.
You, too, can tune in to work anywhere even if you are not turning up for work physically. This flexibility over your daily movements can help you fit more tasks in when you are not trying to rush from the business district to your lunch date.
Lastly, build familiarity with your new lifestyle through small changes. Do some experimentation to find out how, where and when you work best.
Do you prefer phone calls to in-person meetings, ploughing through your to-do list in the mornings or evenings, and setting up your workspace at home or in cafes?
Start changing certain aspects of your work habits to come up with an optimal mode of working. Small changes will also help to let the people around you be familiar and learn to work with your new working style.
Have a chat with your line manager, your HR department and your colleagues so they are aware you would like to try out some new modes of working — they may even have good ideas on how better to assist you and, in turn, help the company.
Find even more ideas on an integrated lifestyle at Star Health Expo 2019.
With the theme ‘Get Fit. Live Great!’, it aims to inspire Malaysians to lead a healthy lifestyle and adopt a holistic approach that includes physical and mental health, emotional wellbeing and financial wellness.
Star Health Expo 2019 is organised by I.Star Events Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Star Media Group Berhad with Great Eastern Life as exclusive event partner.
The four-day expo from today till Sunday is being held at SPICE Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas, Penang.
It is open from 10am to 7pm and admission is free.
For enquiries, call 03-79671388 (ext.1541/1097/1505) or visit us www.facebook.com/starhealthexpo