Work-life blending refers to the practice of striking a perfect balance between your work life and your personal life. When you’ve achieved the perfect blend, you will have successfully mixed all facets of your life together. While balancing different areas of your life may seem difficult or even unrealistic, blending refers to a more lenient approach that makes it possible for you to integrate all facets of your life instead of separating them. When determining how to create the perfect blend, it’s important to remember that everyone’s ideal mix will look different. What’s most important is finding a blend that appeals to your unique needs and desires.
In this article, we’ll dive into the difference between work-life blend and work-life balance and cover 7 ways you can achieve the optimal work-life blend.
- Work-life blend vs. work-life balance
- 7 ways to achieve a work-life blend
- How managers can support their employees’ work-life blends
Work-life blend vs. work-life balance
While work-life balance and work-life blend share many similarities, there are some key factors that set them apart. Unlike work-life blend, work-life balance aims to achieve a balance by separating all facets of your life. If you want to achieve work-life balance, experts state that different facets of your life should rarely intersect or overlap and that it’s important to find ways to carve out specific times to focus on each facet separately.
While achieving work-life blend also refers to the practice of striking a perfect balance, this philosophy instead refers to the practice of blending different facets of your life in a way that complements your unique needs and lifestyle. Unlike work-life balance, you aren’t striving to separate different aspects of your life and are instead looking for ways to blend them. Achieving a work-life blend means finding fulfillment and achieving happiness by blending your work-life and personal life.
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7 ways to achieve a work-life blend
- Have clear priorities
- Be flexible, but establish boundaries
- Use technology to your advantage
- Have open communication
- Commit to following your blend
- Continually adapt your blend
- Have patience
1Have clear priorities
Having clear priorities is necessary to find the perfect balance between your work life and your personal life. Prioritizing important facets of your life will make it possible for you to focus your attention on tasks that are urgent so you can focus on lower priority tasks when you have some down time. Prioritizing what’s most important—whether it be something related to your work life or personal life—will ensure you remain flexible and fluid in your approach.
2Be flexible, but establish boundaries
Unlike work-life balance, work-life blend is much more flexible. Remaining flexible and fluid in your approach will ensure you find a blend that works for your unique needs and lifestyle. Being strict and stringent in your approach will make it nearly impossible to find a balance that works for you. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution and it’s important to blend different facets of your life in a way that works for you, your loved ones, and those close to you.
3Use technology to your advantage
Leveraging technology is an excellent way to optimize your time and get the most out of your day. While you may choose to use virtual calendars to organize your time or leverage Zoom while working from home, you can also take advantage of tools like Fellow to optimize your time and make the most of your meetings. Fellow makes it possible for you to host and participate in efficient, organized meetings so you can optimize your time at work and have more time to do what you love at home.
4Have open communication
Having an open line of communication with both your family and your colleagues is extremely important. Keeping communication open and vocalizing your commitments or struggles will ensure you’re able to create proper boundaries at home and in the office. If you prioritize communication, you’ll be able to create a healthier balance between your work life and your personal life.
5Commit to following your blend
Creating the perfect blend can be difficult, especially if you aren’t fully committed. Committing to following your blend will help you find the perfect blend while simultaneously creating a routine that helps you stick to the new lifestyle you’ve created. If you aren’t committed to following your blend, you may find yourself prioritizing work when you should be spending time with your family or falling behind on tasks or responsibilities at work because you’ve taken too much on in your personal life. The key to creating a blend that works for you is committing to the process.
6Continually adapt your blend
It’s natural to adapt and make changes as your priorities change. One week you may have extra responsibility at home, whereas the next you may have pressing deadlines at work. The benefit of adapting to a work-life blend as opposed to a work-life balance is that you have the freedom to pivot or adapt when necessary. It’s important to remember that nothing is set in stone, and you have the power to make changes as you see fit.
Finding the right blend can take time, especially if you lead a busy life. Having patience and remembering that finding the right blend is an iterative process are imperative. Give yourself grace, and remember that good things take time.
How managers can support their employees’ work-life blends
- Implement a hybrid work schedule
- Hold regular one-on-one meetings
- Lead by example
- Ask employees for regular feedback
- Give employees autonomy
- Foster trust
1Implement a hybrid work schedule
Implementing a hybrid work schedule means your employees will have the flexibility and freedom they need to create their perfect blends. Since employees don’t have to spend time commuting and are able to spend more time at home when working remotely, they can choose to spend more time with their families or carve out time for their friends or hobbies. When working in the office, your employees can reap the benefits of connecting with their colleagues and prioritize collaboration. Embracing a hybrid model means everyone gets the best of both worlds.
2Hold regular one-on-one meetings
Holding regular one-on-one meetings is essential if you want to support your employees’ work-life blends. Hosting one-on-one meetings will make it possible for you and your employees to create an open dialogue where they can voice their concerns or aspirations. You can also use this time to gain a more in-depth understanding of how you can support them in their endeavors to create a balance that works for their unique lifestyles. You need to remember that no two employees are the same, and your approach may vary from one employee to another.
3Lead by example
You can’t expect your employees to thrive and do as you say if you don’t lead by example. Leading by example will set the stage while demonstrating exactly how to create a work-life blend. To lead by example, you first need to create a blend that works for you. If your employees feel as though they have the freedom and autonomy to create a lifestyle that allows them to flourish in all facets of their lives, they’ll be happier, more motivated, and engaged at work.
4Ask employees for regular feedback
Feedback is a gift and doubles as an excellent way to learn more about how your employees are feeling. Seeking regular feedback will help you understand if your employees have what they need to create work-life blends that work for their lifestyles.
Tools like Fellow make giving and receiving feedback a breeze. Simply allocate a section of your meeting agenda to giving or receiving feedback and provide your employees or teammates with the opportunity to contribute to a collaborative meeting agenda that can be referenced during your next one-on-one.
5Give employees autonomy
Giving your employees autonomy means empowering them to act and think independently. If employees aren’t given autonomy, they won’t be able to shift from work-life balance to work-life blend. There are countless reasons you should empower your employees to think and act freely, including heightening motivation, increasing engagement, and boosting overall happiness. When employees have the freedom to make their own choices and create blends that work for their lifestyles, they’ll ultimately outperform those who do not have the same freedom.
Fostering trust in the workplace means ensuring your employees show up to work every day with a heightened sense of psychological safety and mutual respect. A high level of trust creates a more positive experience for both the employee and the manager. When your employees feel safe and respected, they’ll be more inclined to perform to the best of their abilities. If you don’t have a trusting relationship, they may also feel as though they don’t have the support they need to create custom blends that work for their lifestyles.
Implement work-life blending today
Work-life blending is the optimal way to boost engagement and happiness in the workplace. After you’ve created a healthy balance and mastered your own blend, you can begin to support your employees as they strive to create their own work-life blends.