Work-life Integration: the Cure for the Business That Never Sleeps

Work-life Integration: the Cure for the Business That Never Sleeps

What’s the matter with work-life integration? Let’s look at the reason. According to a study from the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), more than 50% of workers report that their work battles with their life responsibilities.

Also, according to TeamViewer and Harris Interactive research, 61% of employees are ready to work during their vacation. Another Gyro and Forbes Insights study found that 98% of executives check emails during off-duty hours.

Some employees do that because they want to, and some don’t have an option. So, is work-life integration going to help?

Work-life Balance Vs Work-life Integration: What’s the Difference?

Previously, we may have heard about work-life balance. Work-life integration and work-life balance are reasonable ways to navigate personal and work responsibilities. But there must be something different.

1. Work-life balance

Work-life balance combines time and energy spent at work and time and energy spent at home. The goal is to separate the two areas and ensure each is given the appropriate attention and effort.

We’ll take you to the Noel story. Let’s say Noel is an HR consultant. Noel’s typical business day is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. After work, Noel spends time walking or working out at the gym. On weekends, Noel likes to spend time with friends playing golf or taking weekend trips. Noel also spends time on hobbies like reading books and walking.

In this example, Noel combines good work and personal life. He set clear limits on his work schedule, which enables him to engage fully with friends and personal interests outside of work. With a personal priority, Noel can maintain his mental and physical health, making him more productive and engaged at work.

2. Work-life integration

On the other hand, there’s so-called work-life integration. So you’re asking what is work-life integration meaning? This idea highlights the integration of work and personal life. The emphasis is on finding ways of harmonizing the two domains, work and personal life. This approach makes work and personal life interconnected and interdependent.

Joanna has a story to tell. Joanna works as a graphic designer with an elderly parent. Joanna likes to spend time with her parents and wants to be able to work at home so she can be there for them.

She has established a home office while her parents remain close by. Joanna also enjoys flexible work hours, allowing her to take breaks throughout the day to spend time with and support her parents.

In this example, Joanna integrated her work and personal life to ensure her wellness. Joanna can spend more time with her parents and contribute more to their everyday lives by working at a time that suits her best. This integration of work and personal life allows Joanna to feel empowered as a daughter and graphic designer, improving her overall well-being.

How Do We Know If We Need a Work-life Balance or Work-life Integration?

While work-life balance focuses on separating work from personal life, work-life integration focuses on blending them. Work-life balance aims to avoid work-life conflicts, while work-life integration aims at creating harmony between the two areas. 

Both approaches are helpful and will depend on personal preferences and circumstances. But how do we figure out which is better? 

Whether we need work-life balance or work-life integration depends on our preferences and situation. Below are a few considerations:

1. Work Schedule

If we are in a traditional job from 9 am to 5 pm and have trouble finding time for personal activities, we may need to focus on work-life balance. However, if we have a flexible work schedule or work-from-home benefit, we can better merge work and personal life.

2. Personal Preferences

Think of what is most important and what brings us the most satisfaction. While spending time with family and friends, hobbies or personal activities are a top priority, we may need to focus on work-life balance. If we find fulfillment in our work and it doesn’t matter to handle it anytime, work-life integration may be more suitable.

3. Character

Reflect on our personality and how we prefer to handle our time. A work-life balance may be more appropriate if we decide on clear boundaries between work and personal life. If we desire a smoother process, work-life integration may be preferable.


At the end of the day, the choice of work-life balance versus work-life integration is personal. Assessing our options, possibilities, and importance is vital in determining the approach that best facilitates our well-being.