Career Advice, Reviews

What is “Work-Life Fit”? And Is Balance A Thing of the Past?

Happy young man cycling in a startup

How much money do you think you’d have if you got a dollar for every time you heard the phrase “work-life balance”? A lot, right? The topic is everywhere—TV, the newspaper, social media, and the list goes on. Suffice to say, it feels like everyone is trying to figure out how to find their own work-life balance.

But, what if this approach is wrong? What if ‘balance’ is a misnomer? What if trying to be balanced is actually causing us to feel a greater imbalance? Enter “work-life fit.” This concept first hit our radar thanks to this New York Times article, which explores how the approach to integrating work and life, instead of keeping them separate, may actually be the way to go.

[Related: 17 Companies with Great Work-Life Balance Hiring Now!]

Work-life balance is the idea of creating and maintaining clear distinctions and boundaries between what is work and what is not. Work-life fit, on the other hand, is about creating a work and lifestyle that fosters both personal and professional life at the same time. Work-life fit is all about the idea of flexibility.

What better way to understand the concept of work-life fit than to see it in action. Take a look at Buffer, a company on the front lines of this idea of work-life Fit. Buffer employees can work from wherever they’d like, meaning they could be sending emails from a coffee shop down the street from their house one day, or joining a conference call from the beaches of Thailand the next. Buffer doesn’t keep “working hours,” so it doesn’t matter where, or at what time, employees are working. It’s about getting work done in the best way that works for every individual need. Impressive, right?  

[Related: 25 Best Jobs For Work-Life Balance]

We asked a Buffer employee, Hailley Griffis, to share a few insights into how they embrace this concept of work-life fit. Read on to get inspired, and caution: you may become a work-life fit convert.

GLASSDOOR: What does Buffer see as the #1 benefit to allowing its employees such a flexible work schedule?

HAILLEY GRIFFIS: There are so many! I think the largest benefit is that it allows our team to work from the place that makes them the happiest and most productive, a place that is different for everyone across the board. While some people love the bustle of cafes or coworking spots, others opt for a home office and some decide to go nomadic and travel while they work.

GLASSDOOR: In what ways does the Buffer work style contribute to a more productive and happy team?

HG: By allowing people to choose their own work space, wherever they feel is best for their work style. We also have flexible schedules and working remotely allows people to stay home with family if that’s what they’d like to do, or to travel the world (sometimes also with family!) and work in the city of their choice.

[Related: Job 911: What To Do When Company Culture is on Life Support?]

GLASSDOOR: Why is this fluid approach to work and life important for Buffer?

HG: It’s something that has been around since Buffer started and is now a core part of our values. The specific value that comes to mind is “Work smarter, not harder.” There are so many ways that working remotely helps work smarter, a cut down on commute time is a big one and another element allowing everyone the space to choose an environment where they can focus.

DISCOVER: Search Open Roles at Companies With Great Work-Life Fit Near You!