Merge's Blog

Work-life balance is a myth, seek work-life blend instead

For years, nay decades, there’s been talk of work-life balance – that delicate equilibrium between the time you spend at work and that which you dedicate to family, social and leisure activities, and personal interests.  In fact, I too have often penned posts (such as this one) that seek to achieve just that.  But work-life balance is a myth, a non-achievable nirvana that few (if any) have realized. So it’s long past the time to let this obsolete idea go. Instead, it’s time to embrace work-life blend.

In my latest column in The Globe and Mail, I explain how the word “balance” implies that a negative – work – needs to be offset by a positive – life. But there shouldn’t be anything negative about earning a living.  Work-life blend acknowledges that trying to isolate work from life is not only impossible, but also places immense amounts of anxiety and tension on those trying to do so.

Work-life balance is a myth

work-life blend

Shifting to work-life blend doesn’t happen overnight

So what will it take to reposition from balance to blend?  That’s exactly what I address in this column which published in yesterday’s print edition of The Globe.  If you get the print version, you would have seen it on page B10.

Note: if you are a subscriber to The Globe and Mail, you can also read the column directly at their website at this link:

So I’ve already heard from several readers on The Globe‘s site who are not impressed with my point of view.  They believe that my suggestion of work-life blend is just another way to further reduce “life” time.  But I’d love to hear what you think as well.  Do you agree or disagree with my perspective?  Please add your thoughts below.


  • Totally agree Merge. Been living that life for years – and so much easier than balancing….blending rocks…like you!!

  • I like the idea of blending, it makes sense to me. However, few people have the ability to choose when they work – my employer expects me to be in my office 9:00 – 5:00. I can’t go swim at 2:00, I need to be in a board meeting. So this may work great for those who have control of when they work, but for the rest of us may be as big a myth as balance.

    • True, if your employer gives you no flexibility, it’s hard to make this happen Robin. However, I have observed increasingly in my practice that more and more organizations are recognizing and understanding the value of blending, and make such opportunities available to their employees. In fact, the organizations that do so put themselves at a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining the best and brightest employees.


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