Announcing Work/Life: Springtide’s Newest Report
To celebrate the launch of our newest report Work/Life: Helping Gen Z Flourish and Find Balance, we are excited to share an excerpt from the introduction of the report:
Striking the work/life balance doesn’t necessarily mean leaving one’s workplace at 5 p.m. to be home for dinner. It doesn’t even necessarily mean leaving the night shift at 6 a.m. or the school building at 3 p.m. As we point out in the many instances of blurriness in the previous section, work extends beyond those designated times, and “life” slips into working hours. Even looking for work—filling out applications, arranging for transportation, preparing whatever materials are requested, interviewing, following-up—can be a full-time job in itself. So what does “work/life balance” look like amid these blurry lines?
For Springtide, it means that both a young person’s work and their life outside of work contribute to personal and professional flourishing and well-being. We mean that they are doing their best work and being their best selves.
Measuring these realities can be difficult, but it is possible to recognize indicators. Those who flourish tend to have a positive emotional state, a sense of vitality, optimism about the future, resilience, and healthy self-esteem. In environments conducive to flourishing, a young person will feel engaged and competent; they will have positive relationships and a sense of meaning.
Unsurprisingly, when we asked young people about where and when they experience aspects of flourishing, we found that it’s possible and important to thrive in both work and life. Indeed, nearly three out of every four young people agree that if they are flourishing in their life, they will flourish at work.
Brianna told Springtide in an interview: “I don’t have the mentality that I live to work. I definitely work in order to live. There are a lot of things that I enjoy doing outside of work, but I still want work to be challenging— challenging, but attainable. Interacting with my coworkers and being able to have more personal relationships with coworkers, rather than sterile work-only relationships, is very important to me. I don’t like just keeping with the status quo.”
Brianna expects her work to suit or serve her lifestyle, not the other way around. But she points out what she does expect from work: a bit of challenge, positive relationships, and what we might sum up as a sense of purpose in how she wants work to add to her life, not detract from it. Flourishing and finding balance will look different depending on the circumstances of a young person’s home life and work situation, as well as their age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. But all young people, like Brianna, need and deserve environments in both work and life that include opportunities for mentorship, meaning, and growth.
To read more about how you can help the young people in your life do their best work and be their best selves, you can buy the book here.