From work-life balance to work-life integration


In the past, people would sometimes say: “my office is where my computer is”. Today the boundaries between work and home are fading. But what do you have to do to be able to work everywhere? And to relax, of course? There are three crucial factors. 

With work-life balance, our job and our private lives are two separate things, but with work-life integration this is no longer the case. The two spill over into each other, and personality and identity are allowed at work.

Digital nomad Koen Blanquart is a textbook example of work-life integration. In his book Thuisvoordeel (Home Advantage) he explains what it takes to be able to work literally anywhere. He tells us how he goes diving in Mexico in the morning and brainstorms with his team in New York just before noon. Another example of work-life integration is professional cyclist Wout Van Aert, who sometimes takes his family along to a training camp or at the very least aims to be easily accessible.

But what does this work-life integration involve?


1. Connection & data

Several elements come into play if you’re going to be reachable everywhere. A recent study has shown that younger consumers in particular will just as easily work via mobile data as use an internet cable or WiFi connection. In fact, most consumers indicate they see no real difference between browsing via mobile data and their (WiFi) internet connections. Fixed and mobile connections offer similar performance in terms of data speed: the speed of a (mobile) 4G network is close to that of a fixed (VDSL) connection. What’s more, browsing on a public WiFi connection is often not the best idea in terms of security.

So working (and relaxing) on the go means data consumption. Need more mobile data? If so, be sure to choose a subscription that deals flexibly with that data volume. After all, mobility shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on working comfort. It’s practical to use your data volume on multiple devices, so choosing a suitable formula is obviously crucial. Do you spend a lot of time abroad? Then your best bet is a mobile subscription formula geared specifically to working abroad. 


2. Infrastructure 

Those who often work on the go like to have sufficient access to amenities. This involves more than adjusted mobile devices. If you work remotely on a regular basis, especially for longer periods, then this means a separate office, ergonomic furniture and IT support. In his book, Koen Blanquart states that “the employment policy should also include rules and guidelines regarding the protection and security of the IT environment”. Just think of VPN connections and the security of your mobile devices.


3. Agreements

Transparent agreements are necessary, in terms of expense allowances, communication and scheduling. When can colleagues or business partners reach you? And when is it time to rest, disconnect and relax? “I don’t take my smartphone into the bedroom,” Blanquart says in his book. In other words, he puts his laptop and smartphone to bed on time. Because that, too, is work-life integration.


How do you turn your employees into Connected Employees? Download our whitepaper and find out how to introduce the “new way of working” in your business.

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