Segmenter Vs Integrator: How were we affected by the Pandemic?

In a world where work “outside the office” has become the new normal, the segmenter vs integrator conversation has reached new heights. Historically, segmenters have been described as people who avoid overlap between their work and home lives. Separate calendars, phones, or guarded times of the day help them to create a clear boundary between career and non-work roles. On the other hand, integrators have typically preferred switching back and forth between their personal and work lives as needed. Sending late-night emails or going to a personal appointment during the workday adds flexibility to their schedule. Most people fall somewhere on the continuum, rather than being completely one or the other.

COVID-19 complicated these preferred working styles with the majority of work being conducted at home, forcing many into the integrator category, although not by choice. Ali Rayl, vice president of customer experience at Slack, mentioned “for integrators—I’m one of them—it’s fine having this fluid life situation where they blend together. For (separators), this is an extraordinarily difficult environment to live in.”

As we begin to come out of the pandemic and transition either back to the office or to a hybrid approach, now more than ever is it important to define your ideal preferences and aim for work-life fit. Melody Wilding recommends “defining what fit means to you and communicating to your manager and team what boundary style helps you do your best work.” Laurens Steed of the Farmer School of Business at Miami University suggests that everyone needs true recovery time which includes detachment from the job, relaxation, and a sense of mastery or control over how the time went.

Whether you’re a segmenter, an integrator, or somewhere in between, remember there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Thriving workplaces are a result of people working in ways that best suit them.

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