I first heard of the phrase ‘work life mix’ on Undercover Mum’s post Better than work/life balance: Why work-life mix matters. I was intrigued to say the least. What is this mix you speak of!? Kim from Undercover Mum describes work-life mix as ‘the right mix of career &/ business, family, fun, health etc. so you can feel a sense of balance and fulfillment. Whatever matters to you should be in your mix.’
I liked the idea of this, so the lawyer in me went off to do some more research and I discovered that people are rebelling against ‘work-life balance’ and work-life mix is a ‘thing’.
Women In the Mix say they have adopted the term ‘work-life mix’ because they see ‘work-life balance’ as a misnomer: ‘it implies a dichotomy, with work on one side and life on the other, and that there is a point where it all delicately teeters in equilibrium.’ They also have the word ‘mix’ in their name, so, you know, they could be biased.
Others, like behavioural researcher Dan Gregory, prefers the term ‘blend’: ‘Perhaps a better model is to seek work-life blending. Instead of weighing up the proportion spent in each “zone” and hoping to have them in equal measure, we should look to mix the right ingredients. Think of it as a cocktail rather than scales. Rather than attempting to balance the two sides of the scale, we should look to find a blend that we love the taste of.’
I know the typical portrayal of work-life balance is a set of scales, but I’ve always thought of it as more of a see-saw. Sometimes we lean more in one direction than another; sometimes there’s highs, sometimes there’s lows; but it’s a pretty fun ride overall! Then again, I’ve always loved my career, so I don’t see it as ‘work’ in the traditional sense.
What’s your take on work-life balance or work-life mix? Should we adopt work-life mix? Am I the only one with the see-saw analogy!? I must say, I do love the idea of a cocktail!