How Americans work has changed drastically in the past few years and that has created a new term for both employers and employees – work-life integration.
“‘Work-life balance’ is a dated term that is recognized by the older generations,” Melissa Furman, a leading Management Consultant and lecturer in the James M. Hull College of Business at Augusta University, said in a press release. “The younger generations are seeking ‘work-life integration’ and in some cases, view their jobs as ‘side hustles’ to support their career of life.”
During the pandemic, many people were forced to work from home. Some employees liked it, while others have been eager to return to the traditional work environments. Employers also sometimes found benefits through lower costs.
The biggest trend currently is toward flexibility – hybrid roles of some in-person work and some remote work. Finding good employees is a major concern for many businesses and Furman said those who offer flexibility will win out.
“Some employers simply don’t have a choice,” she said. “If they are not recognizing the needs of their employees, they are going to have a hard time recruiting and retaining employees.”
For some businesses which can primarily function through internet connections, remote work and flexibility will come relatively easy. But flexible scheduling for other companies will be challenging.
“There are many different mindsets present in the workplace and employers need to better understand the needs and preferences of their employees and ‘one size does not fit all,’” Furman said. “This environment has created some new and unique challenges for organizational leaders.”