Project Managers, of all professionals, are used to navigating through different projects and different environments. Many of them already mix home working with self-employment and short term contracts so their flexibility and capacity to manage their daily professional and personal task is very high.
The book of Ellen Ernst Kossek and Brenda L. Lautsch called CEO of Me is a great resource about work-life patterns and an invitation for us to understand better our type of “flexstyle”.
The authors identify 3 categories of flexstyle with 2 sub-categories each:
Integrators that can be: Fusion Lovers or Reactors, Volleyers are Quality Timers or Job Warriors and Separators split into Firsters or Captives
Integrators mix continually work and nonwork tasks during the day. Among them, Fusion Lovers are happy to do so and this lifestyle is in line with their principles, while Reactors are feeling overwhelmed and not in control.
Volleyers are integrating their work and nonwork activities at times and separating them at other times, depending on their priorities in their personal or professional life and different cirumstances.
Those of them considered Quality Timers feel satisfied with their lives and in control. They tend to use cues like shifting from workweek to weekend or busier times to less busy time in order to decide when to separate work and nonwork activities.
Job Warriors usually have to much to do and too little time and they go through periods of high integration when they feel they are in control and high separation when they don’t.
Separators keep work and nonwork activities as separated as possible. They use physical space, time or mental perceptions to do so. At one end we have the Firsters that prefer spending time with their families as a priority to work, and at the other end, the Captives that, sometimes, due to the nature o their job (for example HR) can’t bring work home.
The most important for Separators is that mentally they feel as compartmentalizing their daily activities.
What is your opinion about this classification and where do you find yourself?
The book is inviting you to reflect and offers also a test to find out the flexstyle category you belong to.