Work-life blending may sound strange if you’ve never heard of the concept.

We’ve all heard of the concept of work-life balance.

Well, work-life blending is a totally different perspective here.

It’s the idea that our work and personal lives are blended – not balanced.

Furthermore, it’s an important idea for leaders and HR.

Allow me to dive deeper…

Why Work-Life Blending Makes More Sense Than Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance implies that our personal and professional lives are separate.

It implies they are two different things.

But let’s be real. That’s BS.

The average person spends at least 40 hours a week at work. Work is a huge part of our daily lives. It has a tremendous impact on our personal lives and vice versa.

Meanwhile, stress in your personal life inevitably bleeds into work.

On the flip side, if someone is thriving personally, it becomes easier than ever to focus on work and deliver results. Likewise, if you walk into the office in a good mood, you’re positioned for success.

The point is our work and personal lives are always intertwined. You simply can’t separate them.

That’s where the idea of work-life blend comes in. Our idea of work needs to change.

Work-Life Blending – Because Our Personal and Professional Lives Mix!

Our work and personal lives are blended…

And if businesses want to drive results while supporting team wellbeing, they need to look at it from a holistic perspective.

In sum, we can achieve FAR greater results by supporting our teams in their professional AND personal goals.

But there’s another thing most people miss in the work-life balance conversation.

There’s No One Size Fits All Blend

When people talk about improving work-life balance, they usually mean less work hours.

But a healthy work-life blend should be different for everyone. It’s not a one size fits all.

We all have different lifestyles, priorities, and goals – in work and life.

Picture a very driven, single professional with no kids.

If their career is the most important thing to them, they may want to work 60-70 hour work weeks.

Moreover, if you restrict them to only working 40 hours a week in the name of “work-life balance,” you’re only going to frustrate them.

However, for a professional with a family, it’s a very different story.

A professional with kids at home will probably be more than happy with a work-life blend that minimizes overtime. Likewise, they may prefer if they worked from home.

Another important point is that a person’s work-life blend evolves over time.

Having kids, getting married, and simply getting older can all change our ideal work-life blend dramatically!

As a leader or HR professional, we should strive to support our team members work-life blends. So how can we help our team members achieve a better work-life blend?

So How Can You Support Healthy Work-Life Blending?

The first step in supporting a healthy work-life blend is learning about your people.

As leaders, we have to take the time to understand what really matters to our people.

Additionally, we have to understand where they are now – and where they want to be.

That means asking questions about team members personal lives!

We should ask them about personal goals. Whether it’s their health, financial goals, mindset wellbeing, or getting more time with family, we need to understand what drives our people.

Once you understand what someone wants to achieve, we can assist as coaches.

By supporting our team members growth, they can deliver greater results on the job.

You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t know what their own goals are. In many cases, no one has ever asked!

It’s incredibly empowering to ask our people what their goals are – and offer support however we can.

OpenBlend – a Tool to Guide Work-Life Blending

Understanding our teams individual work-life blends is hard. Coaching team members toward their goals is even harder.

As a leader, it can be difficult to juggle along with other responsibilities.

Here at Qualigence, we use OpenBlend to help in this process. OpenBlend is a people-centric performance management software. It focuses on helping leaders understand their teams’ blends. It also helps leaders understand their team members’ blind drivers, which are what someone prioritizes in their work-life blend. Blind drivers could be physical fitness, mental wellbeing, time with family, recognition in the workplace, etc.

OpenBlend also offers customized talking points for productive 1:1s. I always say leadership is not a team sport. It’s a 1:1 sport! We have to build relationships and develop our people 1:1.

In short, OpenBlend gives you a road map for coaching team members on their own personal growth. This can dramatically change your work environments.

Charting a Course for Growth

As a leader, your #1 responsibility is to make your people better.

But your people can’t grow unless they set goals and make a plan.

It’s our job to coach them. That’s what OpenBlend and supporting work-life blending is all about.

It’s about knowing your people before you grow your people!