17. October 2023

Why is everyone talking about… work-life fluidity?

Personio Pulse: This Week in HR - 1

Welcome to Personio Pulse: This Week in HR, where each week we take a look at the latest trends in the world of work, what you need to know about them and what they mean for you as an HR professional.

This week we’re rethinking work-life balance as work-life fluidity.

What you need to know

A new report has found that three quarters of UK knowledge workers have an unhealthy relationship with their work. That alone calls into question the relevance of a pretty familiar term: work-life balance. Are work and life truly meant to be balanced? Is ‘balance’ even the right word? A new term may help us re-prioritise: work-life fluidity.

Flexibility and adaptability have become prized skills. Work-life fluidity is acknowledging that flexibility and making work and life make sense at the same time. It’s almost the opposite of work-life balance: a state of functional, beneficial imbalance.

What others are saying about it 

“We live in a time where employees expect more flexibility and understanding. You expect your employer to understand that you have priorities outside of work, that your personal wellbeing comes first and that we all are different in how, when and where we do our best work.” explains Sofia Ellmén at Planday.

Her advice for organisations? “Having ‘fluidity’ in the way you work, can mean that you have the option to do some of your tasks outside of the typical office hours and that you are allowed remote work when you feel like you need it.”

But in Sofia’s view, it boils down to one key truth: “What matters is helping your team members deliver their best work by understanding their differences, embracing their strengths and creating a work environment where they can feel trusted, motivated and productive.”

What that means for you

We've distilled three ways to take organisations from the intense trade-off of work-life balance into a more nurturing space of work-life fluidity. They involve a bottom-up rethink on a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Flexitime: When does work need to get done at your organisation? You may want to consider introducing flexible working hours at the top and bottom of the day.  

  • Asynchronous work: Is a meeting truly necessary? Have members of your organisation rethink meeting policies and how some work can be carried out over messaging, voice notes or video recordings to avoid over-burdening diaries. 

  • Tooling: Time tracking, scheduling software or task management tools, can help employees stay on top of their to-do lists without feeling the pinch of being rushed unnecessarily.

What else should I read? 

That's all for this week's edition of Personio Pulse: This Week in HR. Check back next week as we continue to dissect the latest trends impacting the ways we work. 

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Max Specht

Max Specht

Max Specht is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Personio. He enjoys writing and discussing topics related to employee engagement, leadership development and process optimisation.

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