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Toby Manhire discusses the work-life balance moving toward a work-life merge in a recent Listener commentary.
Where the “balance” implies an idea of work and life as “conflicting opposites”, the merge is embraced, for better or worse, by those for whom work and life happen almost simultaneously.
Many of us can relate to this situation, checking emails even when we're on leave - because our technology allows us to do this whether you are lying by the pool, or bored of a show on television. It is becoming increasingly difficult to 'switch off' and many people find it easier to keep an eye on things at the office, rather than return to an avalanche of communication, or just wanting to respond promptly to requests.
It also allows employees to have a more flexible work schedule where they can leave the office to spend time with family, and log back on later to check on any situations or communication that needs to be managed. The downside being, that you create a work life where you are always connected and there is virtually nowhere that you are unreachable - via phone or email. We all have friends that cannot ignore their phone - even if they are in the middle of a romantic dinner or at the sports game.
Technology has freed us from our desks and for some has allowed us to structure our work around life. For others, it may be that there is no such thing as "clocking out". The difference? Find a job you love, and embrace the benefits.