When you hear the words “work-life balance” as it pertains to employee satisfaction, what do you think of?
Does “work-life balance” conjure up images of an early morning that starts with time to yourself, transitions into your 8-hour workday, then finishes off with the perfect balance of time with your family and down-time to yourself? Or does your mind go toward starting work a little later? Dropping your kids off at school, spending time with friends at lunch, then leaving work early to pick up your kids and take them to their nightly activities, and later, after they’re in bed, turning on your computer for an hour or two to finish out your workday.
Maybe you’re a professional who prefers to get a workout in before heading to the office, then leaving early to enjoy some leisurely time with friends or family, and finishing off the day with a few more hours of work, and to you, having the time to do what you want, when you want it is the pinnacle of employee satisfaction.
These days, after living through the midst of a pandemic, maybe the words “work-life balance” have taken on a whole new meaning. Maybe your “work-life balance” now includes virtually commuting to your home office, taking the time for breaks – whether that’s to get kids set up for their virtual classes, do a chore or two around the house, or giving 4-legged companions a little attention throughout the day. Maybe your new “work-life balance” includes getting exercise when and where you can, working a little later, then shutting things down and enjoying some time to yourself.
Whatever the words conjure up for you, it’s clear that “work-life balance” is a vital part of the future of work, and the cornerstone of employee satisfaction. But, is it realistic?
We don’t think so. And in this blog, we’ll explore why we don’t think that we should be so hung up on “work-life balance” and, if we’re truly interested in improving employee satisfaction, we should be aiming for work-life integration instead. We’ll cover 3 scenarios where we’ll show you how Workplace from Facebook can help work-life integration – what we think is the pinnacle of employee satisfaction.
Why Work-Life Balance Isn’t Feasible for Employee Satisfaction
As we’ve mentioned, there are lots of ideas around the concept of work-life balance. But that concept puts a lot of emphasis on your work life and your personal life being perfectly in tune, all the time, every day. Having just lived through a global pandemic that affected every aspect of our lives – and while continuing to navigate the new normal that the last year and a half have yielded, we know this isn’t the case.
There will be days where work must take priority over everything else you do. Whether working from home or working in the office, that multimillion-dollar account will need some extra TLC to close. Your client’s servers go down and you need to spend 24x7 to fix their environment and recover their data. Your organization’s holding a big gala event and it’s “all-hands-on-deck” to pull it off. Business trip – enough said. Whatever the reason, there are always going to be times when you need to put the rest of your life on hold and focus on work.
Similarly, there’ll also be times when work can, or needs to take a backseat. A sick family member requires your care and support. Kids need help navigating virtual classroom learning. You take a vacation and your spouse says no phones allowed. Your clients aren’t as active during certain parts of the year, so you have more flexibility. These are the days when you can place more emphasis on your personal life – indulge in those hobbies of yours, spend more time with loved ones, or just veg out on the couch with a good show or book.
When you look at these kinds of scenarios, it’s clear that work-life balance is a concept that just isn’t feasible. And, according to a New Yorker article on The Cult of Overwork, the global co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs, David Solomon, points out that with the surge in technology in the workforce, there are no boundaries or breaks anymore. That cell phone in your pocket gives you 24x7x365 accessibility, and because of that, everyone is demanding instant gratification and instant connectivity. There is no such thing as ‘being offline’ anymore, and so, it’s unreasonable to believe that you could achieve any work-life balance. It’s argued that, throughout the pandemic, we’ve become even more reliant on our technology, our smartphones, and our laptops to keep us connected – not just in our professional lives, but in our personal lives, too.
So, rather than strive for something that isn’t feasible, why don’t we just turn our attention to something that’s a little easier to achieve? As a society, we should consider achieving work-life integration. What’s that, you ask? Read on to find out!
Striving for Work-Life Integration
Work-life integration is an approach that takes all areas of life – work, home or family, community, personal, and health – into consideration. It’s about finding the harmonious synergy between all the things you find most important. How? By leveraging technology to intertwine around your work and your personal life.
What do we mean by this?
Technology has opened many new ways for us to collaborate and work virtually, especially in the last few years and even more especially during the pandemic we’re living through. This advancement provides vast new ways of taking advantage of work schedule flexibility. Consider the following:
- Video conference calling capabilities have progressed to the point where you can stay in touch with your clients and colleagues from everywhere, from any device. As demonstrated throughout the pandemic, we’ve come a long way from physical, on-site meetings, and video technology has facilitated this advancement.
- Every phone has data capabilities, giving instant connectivity to the Internet at your fingertips – a far cry from when Internet was only through landline cables, and you needed to be physically plugged in to it to check your emails!
- Wi-Fi connections allow for the opportunity to turn any place with it into your office – any documents or files that are stored on a Cloud-based server can be accessed via an Internet or data connection from any device, at any time. This opens the possibility of working while waiting for your daughter to finish swimming practice, or taking a parent to the doctor, or waiting for your spouse at the airport.
3 Ways that Workplace from Facebook Helps Improve Employee Satisfaction through Work-Life Integration
In the section above, we talked about some scenarios that show how technology has provided new ways of working, and, with the global pandemic still very much fresh in folks’ minds, we’re seeing evidence of why these technology. Workplace from Facebook fits neatly into this technology-enabling work-life integration concept, because it allows you to communicate with people at any time, from any device and all you need is an Internet connection to do so.
Given this, let’s look at 3 scenarios where Workplace from Facebook has helped with work-life integration, and, by extension, employee satisfaction.
Scenario 1: Workplace from Facebook Lets You Broadcast Live from Anywhere.
You’re the busy CEO of a small to medium-sized business. You’re also a parent. While at one of your son’s weekend soccer tournaments out-of-town, you receive word that a huge account has just signed a sales deal. You are ecstatic – your team’s worked so hard to land this new client and now that the deal is won, it’s time to celebrate! Since you know that they’ve all been anxious about this deal, you decide not to wait for the Monday morning meeting to let them know. Nor does an email seem appropriate – for one, it’s Saturday, so they’re not checking it. For another, it won’t convey the proper emotions you wish to capture.
Enter Workplace from Facebook, which gives you the ability to broadcast live video from anywhere.
Opening your Workplace app on your mobile phone, you navigate to your CEO group – it’s an open group you created for everyone in your organization to keep them informed of important things that they need to know. You navigate to the “write something” section, then click the “Go Live” button and record your exuberant praise of the team. At the same time, your team will get a notification on each of their devices saying that you’ve gone live, and they can either click that notification and watch you, or, because Workplace clearly helps with work-life integration, they can watch it at a time that’s more convenient to them!
Scenario 2: Workplace from Facebook Lets You Share and Work on Documents When You Need To
You are the marketing coordinator for your company, and you’ve just finished a gruelling season of trade shows. You’re finally heading out on a much-needed vacation. You’re at the airport, waiting to fly out. Then, you get a notification on your phone. Your manager’s tagged you in a post. Opening up your Workplace app, you navigate to the notifications and see that your manager’s posted something in your “Marketing” group. She’s left a post saying that she knows you’re leaving, but she’d like to know if you could check out a one-pager that she’s going to be sending to the printers that afternoon. Not terribly urgent, but if you have some free time at the airport, she’d like your input. The document’s attached to the post.
You’ve got an hour before your flight boards, and you want to save your books for when you’re on the beach, so, you decide you may as well help her out. Because of Workplace’s integration with Microsoft SharePoint, you're able to open the document and work on it from your phone. You take twenty minutes and give the document a thorough once-over. Good thing you did, because you found three minor typos. Saving the document to your phone, you upload it in your reply and let her know that you’ve taken a look.
This is work-life integration – being able to share and work on documents when it suits you.
Scenario 3: Workplace Lets You Stay Connected to Your Team at a Time That Works for Everyone
As the Vice President of Channel Sales of your organization, you believe in getting all your sales team on the same page. But, some of your team is based in other areas of the globe, so having meetings where everyone is in the same room doesn’t exactly work, especially when some of them can’t travel due to current pandemic-related restrictions. And, given that everyone’s in different time zones, you can’t always expect that they’ll be able to get back to you during your workday. Your Europe team is 6 hours ahead, your Vietnam team is 12 hours ahead, and your California team is 3 hours behind. How do you make sure that you can communicate with everyone, or answer their questions, or help them with whatever they need?
With Workplace from Facebook being available on whatever device you need, when you need it, you can monitor communication whenever you have a free moment. And so can they! Your Vietnam team gets a call from a prospect at the start of their workday – 9am local time – and they need to clarify that your company can do what the prospect is asking. Using Workplace by Facebook’s chat capabilities, they send you a quick message. You’ve just tucked your daughter in for the night when you get their SOS on your cell phone. Knowing that they’re looking for an answer, you’re able to quickly send back reassurance before sitting down with your spouse to watch the latest episode of your favourite show.
Work-life integration is especially important when you have different employees in different time zones, and with Workplace from Facebook, you can stay connected at a time that’s convenient for everyone.
Ready to Take Advantage of Workplace from Facebook to Improve Your Work-Life Integration?
As these three scenarios show, this highly customizable, secure platform is accessible from multiple devices, and can foster real-time open communication, no matter where you are and what time zone you’re in, so you can get proper work-life integration.
Book a call with us to try the free interactive Workplace demo. Discover how to connect everyone in your company with familiar tools like Groups, Rooms, Chat, News Feed and Knowledge Library. Our team of experts have the know-how to build you an innovative and collaborative Workplace from Facebook platform that will help you achieve positive work-life integration in your organization. Try out the interactive demo and see how Workplace can enhance your business.