When the separation of work and private life becomes one

For a long time, one of the most discussed personnel development topics was the work-life balance, the establishment of a balance between work and private life. What exactly this strict separation of the two sides looks like is at the discretion of the individual and depends on age, marital status and basic views on life. But this model has failed. More and more workers check their e-mails in their spare time, use their business mobile phone on holiday and take work home with them, as they still had a (private) appointment at noon. The successor model is Work-Life-Blending.

The decisive factor for digital change is a cultural change, i.e. the anchoring of digital leadership in corporate culture. For the Executive Board and the company management, this means giving top-down impulses but also the freedom to deal with the new instruments and IT structures. The bottom-up experience then triggers a cultural change. A prerequisite is always a common understanding of the new management structures and processes, which must be clearly formulated beforehand, as well as talent management adapted to the digital change.

More and more employers and employees attach importance to mobility and flexibility. The increasing merging of work and leisure time is made possible by new working time models and digital technologies, which make it possible to work from anywhere at any time. More and more employees see their work no longer as a mere source of money but as an integral part of their lives. Anyone who has fun and enjoyment at work also experiences self-realization here. Employees are therefore increasingly willing to work in their free time if they in return get the go from their employer to do private things during their working hours.

However, there are certain risks associated with work-life blending:
  • No more closing time, due to missing, fixed working hours
  • Danger of exploiting oneself
  • Self-determination and self-organization can be a burden
  • No possibility of mental detachment from work
  • Risk of neglecting private relationships and looking only for “friends” in the workplace.
  • The job becomes the most important life content – a notice represents the end
Nevertheless, the fusion of work and leisure time can hardly be stopped and for good reasons:
  • Higher motivation due to self-determination
  • No time off from working hours, but use them effectively in productivity phases
  • Flexible and free work
  • No holiday taking for private appointments etc.
  • Good balance between family and career
  • Quality instead of quantity

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