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People rethinking about how they live their lives

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People are questioning the importance of work. We heard the same idea across the responses. One participant warned, “Don’t spend too much time on work and sacrifice important family time”. Another said, “It is important to slow down and enjoy life and disconnect from work”.

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The great resignation has taught us that employees are willing and brave enough to quit jobs that do not deliver a sense of fulfilment, sometimes even before they have the safety net of another job in place. At the same time, “quiet quitting” is trending, where people decide not to quit, but to do the bare minimum at work and refuse to go above and beyond.

Work can’t compete with family or leisure time. But there are ways to integrate important parts of our life to have a richer life.

Organisational psychologist Stewart Freidman’s concept of “Total Leadership”, which promotes work-life integration instead of work-life balance shows how to integrate four important parts of life, so people can bring their best to the areas he identifies: work, family, self and community.

Work-life integration would be something like exercising with colleagues (bringing together work, the self and community) or signing up for a community project with the kids (family and community).

The empty Melbourne CBD during the city’s sixth lockdown as people worked from home.Credit:Eddie Jim

This is something anyone can do, but employers need it to turn the tide. Managers should have conversations with their employees to help them understand their values, who they are, what and who matter to them and find new ways to creatively combine different parts of life.

The more integrated your life, the more four-way wins and more satisfied you’ll be. For employers, it could also mean satisfied workers, more productivity,

Dr Asanka Gunasekara is Lecturer in Management at Swinburne University Department of Management and Marketing.



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