Workplace burnout stressBy Nicole Bello, Vice President of SMB and Channel, EMEA at Kronos Incorporated

The modern working day is stressful. There might be a rush-hour commute, deadlines to meet, and conflicting schedules to manage, all while trying to balance life commitments.

Burnout is a common problem among modern workers, and achieving a much-coveted work-life balance seems to be more difficult than it used to.

In light of this issue, it might be time to start thinking about going beyond the traditional idea of work-life balance, and embracing a cultural shift to a philosophy of work-life integration instead.

Understanding work-life integration

If organisations are serious about maintaining employee morale and retaining their staff, it is important that they provide working conditions that allow for greater flexibility. This is where work-life integration has a role to play.

Traditionally, many employers and workers have advocated for a clear delineation between in-office and out-of-office hours — a concept also known as work-life balance. However, modern commitments and ways of living are leading to an evolution in the way work and life operate in tandem with one another. The concept of work-life integration is based around having the freedom to choose when and where you can work and complete personal tasks in your own time.

Think of a situation like this: An employee has to attend a personal commitment on a working day, say a school sports day in which her children are taking part. There are two realistic options in this scenario — she can either take annual leave and lose a whole day’s productivity for a few hours of a commitment –  or pick the work-life integration option that involves working from home in the morning, logging off during the sports event (after duly communicating to the office team) and then logging back on later in the evening to complete work tasks. The second option is an obvious win-win for both the employee and the company, with negligible loss of productive hours whilst also ensuring employee wellness.

Using technology to achieve workplace harmony

A powerful enabler, technology is the key reason why today’s employees can choose when and where they plan to work. It has also given managers the necessary tools and platforms through which they can administer tasks and responsibilities, so that work gets done efficiently and effectively.

Technology is helping workers become more fluid and achieve work goals at their own pace. As a working mother myself, I make it a point to be home before dinner, and then go online for an hour or so to clear the work backlog before bedtime. And while I do understand that everyone’s situation is different and there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution, but there is definitely no harm in employing a more malleable approach to a traditional 9-5:30 and use tech to help achieve this.

Eliminating burnout, increasing satisfaction

People are an organisation’s most valuable asset and need to be looked after. After all you cannot expect the same results from a burned-out employee that you would from a fully motivated one. By allowing staff to work in a more fluid manner, employers can help to build a more satisfied, productive and well-balanced workforce that is less anxious about when and how to get things done.  This is why I believe that work-life integration is the way forward.