The Blurring Lines Between Work and Life
For years, the lines between work and life have been blurring for everyone from professional-class workers to lower-wage retail workers, and COVID-19 has, of course, accelerated and exaggerated this trend. In this discussion, Susan Bailey, a senior vice president and culture and wellbeing practice leader at Marsh McLennan Agency, talks about the implications of this blurring for workforce wellbeing and provides suggestions on how individuals and employers should react.
On new perceptions of the purpose of work:
“There’s always been a group of people who were doing work that they truly enjoyed, there’s always been those people. There’s always been people who do work to do work, so they can enjoy the rest of their lives. I think about the other ask that’s coming forward from individuals of organizations — it might not be work that brings me tremendous joy, but more individuals are asking for an opportunity to feel like they are doing something that matters and have clarity of what that difference is.”
On how organizations should react to new workforce trends:
“The case I would make is, regardless [of whether] an organization feels like they are being impacted, it is good to make sure that we never get comfortable and to recognize which stories that your employees are telling about work when they aren’t there … what story do you want your folks to tell? Those organizations where the storytelling is more positive, the turnover is lower.”
On navigating hybrid work:
“Anything that an organization can do to create stability of scheduling can, interestingly enough, lead to flexibility. Flexibility comes in a lot of different forms, but if I know when I’m working, then I’m left with a feeling of control over the rest of my time.”