Do you ever feel like you’re losing the battle for work life balance? You’re not alone. In a 2015 survey from Ernst & Young, a third of professionals stated that managing a work life balance was becoming harder, with increasing expectations and workplace demands leading to longer hours and the death of the 40-hour working week.
With workplace demands unlikely to die down, is there any hope for the work life balance seeker? We think there is. But it’s not the work life balance as you know it. It’s a new method of working made possible by mobile technology. Introducing work life balance 2.0 – the work life blend, and it’s coming soon to a workplace near you.
The work life blend model recognises that we can no longer separate our professional and our personal lives. We spend on average 54% of our waking moments working (8.9 hours every 24 hours) and that figure will only grow. But with a work life blend model, we are free to choose when we work and when we attend to personal matters. Your 9-5 is thrown out the window, along with your office desk and chair.
Merging our professional and personal lives might appear to go against the idea of achieving balance. But in practice, it gives us the freedom to work how, where and when we want. The freedom and flexibility we’ve wanted for years.
So how do you reach the sweet spot that the work life blend offers? It takes a trusting employer, the right technology and a healthy dose of motivation.
A trusting employer
An analysis by jobsite Timewise recently revealed that almost half the UK’s working population want flexibility in job hours and location, yet just 6.2% of ads mention it.
It seems that remote working is still struggling to shake off the stigma that work doesn’t happen at home. It’s an outdated attitude that’s in direct conflict with another recent stat - 93% of employees feel more productive at home (FlexJobs). It also fails to consider the distractions and disruptions in the workplace. Watch this talk by Jason Fried for more insights on why work doesn’t happen at work.
If employers want to attract the top talent to their business, they must learn to put people first and trust their employees to get the job done. The demand for work life blend is on the rise and the best workers will choose jobs that offer it.
The right technology
The growing trend of the work life blend is being fuelled by mobile technology, which puts work (and life) in the palm of our hand 24/7.
With today’s technology, you can choose to be always on, fully connected and armed to respond to personal and professional matters in an instant. And it’s not just limited to calling, messaging or texting on the move. With the HP Elite range, you can take your entire office with you to to access your files, edit your presentations and share your work from anywhere. If you travel for work, you might want to consider a handheld hybrid device like the 3-in-1 HP Elite x3. Or if performance is your priority, the EliteBook Folio is a powerful tool for seamless collaboration outside the office. If you’re looking for technology that will afford you a work life blend, you aren’t short of options.
Staying motivated to embrace a work life blend can be a challenge. It’s easy to fall into the trap of traditional working methods and accept the status quo. But a work life blend can offer you, your family and your employers the very best version of you – happier, present and more productive.
How to achieve a work life blend
Once you’ve been given the green light to work remotely in your quest for a work life blend, it’s time to prove yourself. Here’s how.
Be organised and reliable - Show your employer you’re as reliable at home as you are at your desk. There should be no drop in contact, productivity or delivery.
Have structure and be considerate - Be aware of other people’s schedules. Make yourself available when they need you, keep track of the time you spend on projects and never, ever miss a deadline.
Arm yourself with all the tools you need - Make sure you have the right tools to do your job as if you were at your desk. Get IT to set you up properly with full access to your servers to ensure your work is seamless.
Be productive with your flexible time - Make every off-peak hour productive. Hit the gym for some stress-release or the shops before the commuter stampede. The beauty of flexible hours means you can make them work best for you and your needs.
Goodbye to work life balance, hello to work life blend, the way of working that offers you and your employer the best of both worlds.