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TheFuturein5 Episode 29: Should We Focus on Work/Life Balance or Work/Life Integration?

04/11/2015 02:08 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2015

This episode of the Future in 5 takes a look at whether we should focus on work/life balance or work/life integration. Work/life balance is an interesting topic because it is very individualistic. For example, I work many more hours than a standard, full-time job. However, I have a home office, I love the work that I do, I get to be around my wife and my dog, and I get to take breaks when I want. So when asked, I say I have a great work/life balance. There are others who work a 40-hour, 9-to-5 job, and are done with work as soon as the five o'clock hour strikes who also would say they have a great work/life balance. Yet on the flip side, there are others who may work 40 hours a week, but because they have to commute to work then sit in an office or cubicle would say they do not have work/life balance. Work/life balance is not about how many hours you work -- it is about how you feel. There is also this discussion about work/life integration because we are starting to bring more of our lives with us to work and more of our work home to our lives. My perspective is it doesn't really matter. In this episode I share why I believe that instead of focusing on work/life balance or work/life integration, organizations need to focus on giving employees the opportunity to customize and control how they get their jobs done instead of telling them how they should be working. The future of work is about enabling employees so at the end of the day, it is all about giving employees choice. We're starting to see a lot of cool examples of organizations doing just that. In upcoming Future in 5 episodes I'll share more on this topic as well as feature some of these organizations. Listen in and tell me where you stand on this subject!

Jacob Morgan is a futurist, best-selling author and keynote speaker, learn more by visiting The Future Organization.com or check out his latest book,"The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders and Create a Competitive Organization," on Amazon.