work life integration

When Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand brought her three-month-old baby into the UN General Assembly, it made headlines around the world.

In one action, Ardern showed that a new mother, and a national leader, can handle professional responsibilities – and in doing so, pushed forward our definitions of work-life integration.

With a strong link between employee engagement and retention and good work-life integration policies and flexibility, it is becoming clear that life priorities and career ambitions can co-exist – given the right conditions.

Related: Diversity & Inclusion: Can flexibility boost engagement?

What is work-life integration?

At our recent Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) roundtable discussion held at Michael Page Singapore, we spoke with some of the top leaders in D&I planning and policy in the region about what work-life integration means for them; how companies can integrate policies that support employees; whether they are new mothers or have been away for other reasons; and why policies focused on work-life integration are essential for attracting and retaining top talent.

The idea of work-life integration means different things to different people, companies and cultures. While the degree of work-life integration that people want might vary, the basic idea is that it allows people to work in a way that allows them to have a flourishing life outside of work as well.

Bianca Stringuini, Head of Inclusion, Community and Wellbeing, Asia Pacific, Visa, notes that even the definition has to be a flexible one. “Work-life integration is a very personal and sometimes cultural thing,” she notes. “Different people want different levels of work-life integration. And I think that is the key – it’s about making work somehow work better for you.”

Related: Diversity & Inclusion: supporting returnees to work is key to retention

Widening the net

While the idea of work-life integration often centers around new mothers returning to work, it is important for companies to expand the concept to everyone, regardless of gender or stage of life.

Michelle Charles, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at SAP, underlines that the issue is not isolated to one target group. “Work-life integration isn’t just about maternity or people with kids,” she notes. “It’s about looking at different phases of life for everyone, whether that’s parenthood, being a caretaker for a family member or something else.

“It is also not only about giving time off, but supporting employees as they go through different phases of life.”

This is part one of our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) event coverage. The D&I roundtable discussion was held at the Michael Page Singapore office.

Read more:
5 ways to improve equity in the workplace
Why recognizing women in leadership and their achievements matter
How to be more confident at work according to Asia's female leaders

We recruit on behalf of the world's top companies. Fast-track your success with the right team. Explore how we can quickly match you with top talent.

Find your next hire

Salary Guide Philippines

Discover your value with salary benchmarks across various industries.

Compare my salary

Build your dream team

We'll quickly match you with skilled and experienced candidates.

Explore Michael Page

Philippines Talent Trends 2023

Unravelling the most profound transformation in work culture since the arrival of the Internet.

Download report

Topics to help you lead & inspire

Advertise Your Role With Us

Advertise Your Role With ReachTalent

If you are looking for a job, you can browse jobs here

Are you Hiring?

If you are an employer and would like to discuss your hiring needs, fill in the form below and we will call you back.