A few thoughts and discussions are converging with me right now. Converging so as to create an internal debate about the blurred lines between work and personal life.
This week #NZLead had a tweet discussion about social media in the workplace, which raised the issue about individual, personal behaviour on social media and the potential to integrate this use into the workplace.
I read a blog about employee engagement which included a familiar challenge to the pursuit of the holy grail of engaged staff. My personal view is that engagement has too many pluses for us not to pursue it, but there is logic in the discussions that question.
An on-line discussion about work-life balance highlighted different thinking about how to manage the never-ending conflict of what is “work”, what is “life” and what exactly is “balance”
As a result I have been reflecting on the people I know in real life and on-line who represent the divergent thinking about work and individuality, the job versus the person, and how we cannot assume that what is right for one will be right for another.
What are the blurred lines?
- There are many of us who desire to be engaged in our work. We actively seek workplaces that encourage that engagement. It gives meaning for us and we want others to experience that same meaning.
- There are just as many for whom work is a means to an end. It provides for their families, enables them to pay for their dreams but is “just a job”. They may enjoy their job, but do not need it to be all encompassing.
- This is also reflected on social media. Those who have fallen in love with social media and can see the potential for business and the workplace have merged their personal and professional persona (although to varying degrees)
- Many on social media keep their work persona very separate. In some cases this may be due to workplace social media policy, but in many cases it is a deliberate “I am not my job” choice.
- Some will give everything to their job, but strictly in the hours they are contracted for, so that they can pursue other activities in their own time. They will be committed to their job and will be fully present, but only for the “things I get paid for”
- Others will be more than happy to say “what spare time?”
So what do you think?
As we pursue our socially active, fully engaged workplaces, are we being fair to everyone?
How do we deliver practices that recognise the value of all contributors, respecting and honouring individual rights to determine their own relationship with their job? And should we?