The world has changed. Our lives have changed, our lifestyle has changed, our friends changed, and the way we look at things has changed.
Do you still see work-life balance as a right expression?
Do you still see work on one side and life on the other side?
Do you see work integrated in your life or do you see it separately?
Q: Work-life balance or life-balance? And what do you think is the connection between life-balance and resilience?
We have had many talks about work-life balance with many HR experts, authors and experts in recent weeks. And based on our conversations, the answer was, yes — now people see it differently.
Here are their insights:
#1: Walter Zinggl
Walter Zinggl: I’m a big fan of life-balance because, basically, I started my professional living in an advertising agency and I always was convinced, and to some extent, I’m still convinced, when you work in a service business, you need to have a certain attitude for that. And that attitude best can be described that working 9-5 may work in a factory, but not in a service-oriented business or in a service business and definitely not in an advertising agency business.
I was convinced that I had to make my professional life part of my total life because there was no clear border. — Walter Zinggl
What I always was convinced of, I was convinced that I had to make my professional life part of my total life. Because there was no clear border. If you have a client calling you at 7:30 in the morning, you can’t deny the call and tell him to call again at 9.
From my point of view, when you like the profession or when you have chosen that profession because it triggers something within your own personality, then that is nothing where you can say 9-5 and then stop it and then I’m a different person.
#2: Dirk Stoltenberg
Dirk Stoltenberg: Definitely not work-life balance. You know that sounds as if there would be one thing against the other. So that’s not a competition. Life-balance comes closer to what I think, I mean, I like to talk about personal living style. I like to talk about personal fit.
Whatever you do should be in balance. Too much sport is as bad as too much work. — Dirk Stoltenberg
This is what talks about you as a human being and whatever you do should be in balance. Too much sport is as bad as too much work. The only thing that I never heard you do too much of is love. Other than that, everything should be balanced.
#3: Vera Märk
Vera Märk: Life balance. Because for me if I look at balance, normally balance, right and wrong, good and bad but if you say work-life balance it sounds like you’re balancing something bad like work or something good life. Which is not how it should be. Both should be good. Both should be fulfilling.
#4: Bettina Sander
Bettina Sander: Definitely life-balance. Work is an important part of our life so it’s a life-balance. We spend so many time at work, it’s part of our life.
I believe that work is an important part of our life and our work should help us in looking out for potential and should even define who we are as a person in the work environment.
Our highest resilience comes from understanding our own personal mission in life and finding meaning when we align our personal mission with the work we do. I think this is a combination. So if we have a balance in life, it will also influence our resilience in the workplace, this is my strong belief.
#5: Michael Bub
Michael Bub: I don’t like work-life balance because what work-life balance means is that you do not live when you work. And this is, from my perspective, a great mistake because you have to enjoy your work and then it’s part of your life and not to say, okay, I only live after work or before.
I don’t like work-life balance because what work-life balance means is that you do not live when you work. And this is, from my perspective, a great mistake. — Michael Bub
Life balance starts with where do you take your energy? So that means, do you take your energy from work or from your private life in terms of is it your family that you take your energy for at work? Or is it your sport, your hobby that you take your energy for at work? Right?
Or is it — some people are taking their energy for life from work. So therefore, yes, there is a connection between life-balance and work.
#6: Liliane Kuert
Liliane Kuert: Resilience is a very important, crucial part of a human’s life in order to have a good life balance. So, life balance in my point of view, is a very good blend of work, private life and family, leisure time. Whatever you want to do.
If you get drained at work by a lack of resources then your entire life balance is, you know, overall, in a certain period of time, it’s going to be off.
Work is usually a very big part of our life, so I would actually suggest that employees take some time to think about what they need when it comes to work environment to make them strong, to gain energy apart from the usual work tasks.
I see that if the leadership is not comfortable with the concept of life balance integration in the company, it will never happen because it should come from up to down. If the employee felt that it’s not the company strategy and value, and there isn’t an internal marketing to it, it will not happen. We would still be the same.
#7: Nils Sigwarth
Nils Sigwarth: I would call it life-balance, especially when I said in one of my earlier statements that it becomes much more fluid for the next generations.
Absolutely, yes, there is a strong link. Both of them I would say are very interdependent. I think resilience at the workplace has something that we need to do. It’s also how you manage your life balance individually.
In the earlier days you know, there was a much bigger separation between work and life because you went to work 8-5 then you would return home and your life was happening and at least in the last years and in the next generation coming now it’s getting much more fluid.
So certainly there are different requirements, there are different expectations and I think right now in kind of the older generation having that kind of more old-fashioned or kind of traditional thinking of work and life.
And now the next generation coming in that has a completely different understanding of what work life means for them. They want to play tennis on Thursdays from 2-4 because they want to do their kind of work afterwards. They are happy to do something on Saturdays and Sundays which was a no go for at least the generation of my parents.
#8: Ralf Althoff
Ralf Althoff: I think the term work-life balance comes from the time when Taylorism was very strong or after it has just recently subsided. There are a lot of new terms like “new work.” So from my perception, it can only be a life-balance – being in balance with my life.
It can only be a life-balance – being in balance with my life. — Ralf Althoff
To ask oneself, “Why do we work?” “What is the value of work?” It is absolutely clear to me that it has to fit as a whole package.
It is all about life-balance
Most of us work now where we live, where we eat. Our children are around us, we have our break with our family. We can determine when we could start work or take a break or even go shopping or jogging in the middle of our working day.
With all of these changes that have happened to us, I’d say:
The right expression NOW is Life Balance – we have to balance our lives, in general, to be resilient and to happily achieve our goals. And if we have life-balance, work will be running great because it is integrated in our lives now.
Three important aspects play a big role in balancing your life: the mental, nutritional, and the physical aspect.
Resilience: The Key to Life Balance
The mental aspect is built on resilience. Resilience is the key to life balance – a very important aspect of resilience is self-love because if you love yourself, you will have self-confidence that will help you clearly master your conflicts, stress and time. It will make you say no easily when you want to.
Life-balance is not only about some courses which you should do like before, it’s about a long-term transformation – its about holistic integration of a healthy lifestyle mentally and physically in your life.
Your nutrition and which vitamins you take in your day is important even if you don’t have time to cook.
It’s about the quick training which you could do for a few minutes to make your heart, back and body fit and ready for the daily challenges. Ten minutes of exercise a day could be more than enough — did you know that?
On the couch, the body slows down, breathing slows down, blood pressure and heartbeat, but the muscles are still under tension and the previously released stress hormones continue to circulate in the body. Only through exercise are more hormones produced (endorphins and serotonin) that neutralize stress hormones.
If the body continuously produces stress hormones and cannot relieve the internal tension that has built up through movement, the body goes into a permanent state of alarm.
Not only this but when you do sports and start moving, your body will produce endocannabinoide which has a great effect on your happiness and satisfaction in life. Studies showed that you will be more resistant to fear or anxiety. This is the same substance that is actually included in cannabis.
I invite you to start digging into the life-balance concept, because this is exactly what we will need in the coming period to master the challenges which we would be facing.