How to Achieve Work-Life Integration? Microsoft Offers Tips!

As a tech blogger who holds office in his own home, achieving work-life balance can be a real struggle for me. On some days, I'm all too focused on work, not spending enough time for myself and my personal relationships. And there are also days when I'd relax and unwind with loved ones too much and in effect, not be all that productive at work.

Like many of you, I'm also trying to explore tips and tricks that can help me hack my way into becoming a superstar in managing both my personal and professional life.

While many may argue that successful individuals must make brutal sacrifices in their personal lives, some individuals are able to marry their personal passions and career effectively, resulting in work-life integration. With the right mind set and tools, personal and professional lives can come together, and success need not depend on the amount of personal time you sacrifice.

Work Life Balance

The New World of Work is about being agile, productive and collaborative regardless of where you are and what device you are using. Companies which enable employees with the right technology, support and work environment are empowering them to be more productive and efficient at work and life.

Based on a Microsoft New World of Work Online Survey of 5,000 working professionals, we found that only 44 out of 100 in Asia truly feel well equipped for today’s fast-paced digital work-life.

As Microsoft continues to innovate with Office 365, new capabilities are not just about doing work faster, but also about reinventing how you get things done.

Here’s how you can make work a thing you do, rather than a place you go to:

1. “Be real, be whole and be innovative”

Stewart D. Friedman, Practice Professor of Management at the Wharton School, in a 2014 Harvard Business Review article argues that it is possible for individuals to have successful work-life integration today and that it is important to start by considering three principles: be real, be whole and be innovative.

To be real is to act with authenticity by clarifying what’s important to you. To be whole is to act with integrity by recognizing how the different parts of your life (work, home, community, self) affect one another. All this examination allows you to be innovative. You act with creativity by experimenting with how things get done in ways that are good for you and for the people around you.

So, the next time you have some time on your hands, think about what truly inspires you and how your family or hobbies affect the way you work, and ultimately achieve an integration between your professional and personal life, making you a little more extraordinary too.

2. Own your day: Manage time better with Outlook

Sometimes, work gets in the way of life, and important family and friends’ gatherings are missed and vice versa.

Own your day with by managing your personal and work calenders into one single view. You can also connect to other services like Skype, LinkedIn and Facebook to take note of important birthdays and events across your devices. With the Office 365 Outlook app for iOS and Android, it is now easier than ever to share your calendar availability and schedule meet-ups

Quick tip: Privately share your calendar with friends and family so that they know when is best to book your time!

3. Opt for virtual meetings with Skype for Business

By opting for virtual meetings, you can connect regardless of where you are – whether you are travelling, working from home, or in between commute.

The ability to connect in the place where you prefer reduces the need for travel and is a more efficient use of time.

Just remember not to be in your PJs when attending an all-important video conference team meeting while at home!

4. Collaborate instantly with Skype integration in Office 365

While you’re working from home or while waiting for your child’s enrichment class to finish, you can stay on top of work with Office 365.

Now with Skype integration, you have the option to instant message, screen share, talk or video chat right from your Word or PowerPoint documents! Best of all, your instant messaging history stays connected to the document, so that the next time you open it, you can pick right up where you left off.

Agile, responsive and modern - Office 365 provides a breadth of tools for the modern workplace. Constantly updated and scalable, you can be sure that every employee always has the latest productivity features to get things done. And with Skype for Business and enhanced productivity features in Office apps, you can be sure to hack your way through the New World of Work.

We all dream of being the best that we can be both at home with our loved ones and in the office to do what we are passionate about. In the end, we can only achieve that if we can create a system that would allow us to be equally productive on both fronts. Thanks for the tips, Microsoft!