- As technology and changing workplace environments blur the lines between home and work, employees are increasingly feeling like "work-life balance" is a myth, according to survey findings from 15Five.
- But instead of striving for the unrealistic, employees are aiming for for work-life synergy, which the report defines as "a fulfilling personal life bolstered by an equally fulfilling work life that makes [workers] feel supported, engaged and meaningful."
- Working hours and office design have adapted to this shift, but management styles have not, 15Five said. And employee stress increases when workers lack confidence in their managers. The onus, then, is on leadership to encourage 1-on-1 meetings, create a culture of honest feedback and offer leadership training, the report suggested.
Other reports have similarly concluded that work-life balance is nothing more than a myth, and that the boundaries between work and personal lives are now forever indistinguishable. Still, other research has shown that work-life balance — along with salary and location — are top motivating factors in employee turnover and retention.
But with such balance likely unachievable, employers may need to focus more on providing connections, flexibility and meaningful work. This can mean ensuring that workers can see how their duties advance the company's mission. For others, it may be seeing how the company is working toward a greater good, according to the results of a recent survey from Udemy. While workers in that survey said they desired work-life balance, they also said they care about their employers' missions. In fact, 62% of respondents said they'd accept a pay cut to work for a company with a mission that mirrored their values.
Experts have long said that for HR to create real engagement, it needs to show workers how they're advancing a greater goal. "One of the great missing components is that leaders just don't take the time or assume people don't care, or [think] that the big picture is above [employees]," Steve Van Valin, founder and CEO of Culturology, previously told HR Dive. "Leaders often fail to make the connection between job and company purpose."