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Modeling a Holistic Approach: Work-Life Harmony

by | Jan 12, 2024

“You can have it all.  You just can’t have it all at once.”
– Oprah Winfrey

The month of January marks the celebration of Get a Balanced Life month, dedicated to reflecting on how we can lead more meaningful and satisfying lives in the year ahead. In an era dominated by remote work, hybrid models, AI innovations, and instant communication, our work and personal lives are intricately woven together in ever-changing, co-existing ways.

Embracing Work-Life Harmony

The concept of Work-Life Harmony is a dynamic, holistic approach that recognizes this interconnectedness, reshaping contentment in a world where work can be accomplished from anywhere at any time. This newfound freedom allows us to intentionally map out the flow of our work and personal lives, seeking synergies in their intersections and overlaps.

It’s All About Mindset:

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for work-life harmony; it’s a unique journey for each individual. The key lies in evaluating our passions, purpose, vision, priorities, and values – they become our guiding North star in making decisions about daily commitments. Establishing healthy boundaries and understanding our limitations, around essentials like sleep, nutrition, hydration, physical activity, and relaxation forms the foundation of self-care.

Reflecting on the various roles we play, whether as leaders, professionals, spouses, parents, caregivers, or friends, allows us to allocate our energy intentionally. Work-life harmony encourages a sense of choice, wholeness, well-being, and creativity, prompting us to explore and affirm why we do what we do.

This approach requires flexibility, adaptability, and fluidity. Life circumstances may demand different focuses at various times – attending a child’s concert, running a marathon, or working intensely on a major professional work initiative. Our life priorities can change, too, as we progress through different stages of life, such as being a parent to a newborn, searching for a new home, working towards a new professional certification, or addressing a family illness.  The difference is that we are intentional about where we are spending our energies – looking at ways that our endeavors can work in concert with our most meaningful life goals.

You’re on Stage:

The familiar adage of “people follow what you do – not what you say” is critical in every facet of our lives, and especially in our work lives.  As a leader, modeling work-life harmony and being supportive of it in your workplace, whether it be respecting employees on their off hours, showing flexibility about when project work is accomplished, encouraging your team members to take their PTO time with “digital detoxes” from work, or being pro-active in communicating expectations about what is most important in terms of results, all enhance the work lives of your people.

Studies have shown that employees who have a better harmonization of their work and personal lives show higher morale, less burnout and mental health issues, and higher performance and job satisfaction.  Organizationally, teams show better attraction and retention of talent, and higher employee engagement when work-life harmony is supported. *

*Mackay, J., https//blog.rescuetime.com/work-life-balance-tips/#work

Your Culture Counts:

One of the most proven ways to get feedback on your organization’s leadership effectiveness in this arena is through an Employee Engagement Survey.  At Cornerstone, we offer tools to help organizations assess and enhance their efforts in promoting team resilience and well-being. Feel free to reach out to explore how we can partner with you on this journey.

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About the Author

Mary Toland Shaw, MHR, SHRM-SCP

Mary Toland Shaw, MHR, SHRM-SCP

Talent Optimization Partner

Mary is an Executive Human Resources professional and coach, bringing 30+ years of experience gained with predominantly fast-growing software solutions companies. Passionate in guiding executive leadership teams in creating initiatives that enhance an internal sense of meaningful purpose and engagement in employees. Unlocking this human component serves as a predominant business results accelerator.