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What Is Work-Life Integration?

Maybe you missed a recital. Maybe you missed a girls’ night out with friends. Maybe you were late to dinner with your significant other. Maybe you just can’t conceive of staring at the polyblended-tweed interior of your 9-5 cubicle another day.

Maybe you’ve just had enough.

Whatever your reason for considering virtual or remote employment, we’re sure you’ve got your reasons and we’re also sure they’re more than valid – even without knowing the specifics.


Because we know you’re entitled to live your life as it best suits you and those you love. Period.

But for a long time, it’s been assumed – and widely accepted – that there are two options for work: full-time employment and unemployment. 

To those who have fallen victim to this myopic view of employment, we say this: For every person who has become disillusioned with working in an office, and to those who have chosen to leave the workforce to take care of their families, but felt something is missing, there is a better way.

Work-Life Balance or Work-Life Integration: The Operative Word Is ‘Life

Full disclosure: We kinda have a dog in this fight – though that shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’re on our blog on our website. 

When we set out to create BELAY, we thought of every person who had become disillusioned with working in an office. We thought of those who considered leaving to take care of their families but always felt that something was missing.

And it all started with our very own Shannon Miles, who discovered that there are creative ways of making one’s schedule and workplace more flexible. 

Some would argue that her Third Option promotes work-life balance. Others might argue it encourages work-life integration. 

We argue that arguing either is a matter of semantics.


Because at its simplest, ‘balance’ is ‘an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.’ And ‘integration’ is ‘to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole.’ 

Clear as mud, right?

Trust us – we’re going somewhere with this. 

If you consider that when used in conjunction with the hyphenated ‘work-life,’ both balance an integration more realistically and accurately denote the joy and value you gain from each area on either side of the hyphenate for a fulfilling life, as all parts are intended to be blended together for a greater quality of life.  

Did we lose you? Let’s try this another way. Consider this impossibly perfect quote from Jae Ellard:

“It doesn't matter what we call ‘work-life balance’ because there is no such thing. Call it work-life harmony, integration, flexibility, flow, work-life fill-in-the-blank. What I've learned after eight years of talking about this topic with thousands of people in more than 50 countries is that most people share a simple and similar desire to create easy joy and meaningful engagement between the interconnected roles, relationships and responsibilities that make up their lives.”

See? Call it work-life literally anything. As long as it means that you can earn a fulfilling living while volunteering for your child’s school bake sale committee. Or make it to a weekday baseball game because you can check your emails between innings. Or go on vacation while still being able to carve out time to hop on a quick client call.

Whatever ‘easy joy and meaningful engagement’ looks like to you, as long as you live it, then you’ve struck personal and professional nirvana, regardless of what word sits precariously on the other side of the ‘work-life.’

Work And Life Shouldn’t Be So Hard

As a leading U.S.-based, virtual solutions company with over six hundred team members all working from home, BELAY knows that your next job can happen at home

So whether you’re a Virtual Assistant, Bookkeeper, or Web Specialist, we have clients right now who need the expertise and insight you bring to the table. And because you’re remote, you can share your knowledge – all from your kitchen table. Or a swim meet. Or a PTA meeting. Or Stonehenge. Literally.

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Why waste another day trying to do it all on your own? You don't need to have an office to benefit from the dedicated support of a virtual assistant, virtual bookkeeper, or web specialist. Schedule a FREE consultation to see how BELAY can help you and your organization today!