Into the Future: How to achieve a more complete work-life balance

Renowned author Dan Pontefract talks about his new book and how to juggle work and personal life

The New Year offers us the opportunity to reflect and renew. As we enter 2024, I had the chance to cover an important professional topic with a Victoria-based author and thought leader whom I deeply respect, Dan Pontefract. Dan’s latest book is entitled Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team That Flourishes. Readers will discover that, following extensive research, Dan has identified six work factors and six life factors that influence our current work-life persona.

I asked Dan four questions about his research and findings during our recent interview and, below, I provide my summarized versions of his insightful answers.

Why do you say work-life balance is a myth?

For several reasons. Statistics from renowned organizations such as Gallup and many others point to stress, sadness, burnout and other work-life factors having increased by 30-to-50 percent and higher amongst the North American working population over the past few decades. Additionally, the internet and smartphones have created an always-on and always-available mindset within many organizations. These and many other factors point to work-life balance being an antiquated concept, which is why I speak about work-life blooming: aiming to achieve joy in your work alongside clarity in your life, so that you can move seamlessly between your work and life responsibilities as you need and/or prefer to.

How does one move between the four work-life personas?

To begin with, it is important to note that there is nothing wrong with any of the personas. In fact, most people will find themselves aligning with all four of the personas over time, as their life and work ebb and flow. This being said, in the book, I outline three tactics per each life factor and each work factor that an individual can practice, perhaps with the help of a friend, colleague or coach, in order to pursue getting into, or staying within, the blooming persona.

Are you accountable to help your employees understand and work on the life factors as well as the work factors?

You are definitely accountable to help your team optimize their work factors. When it comes to life factors, I would suggest a leader has a moral responsibility to support their team’s understanding. However, I like to encourage leaders to see supporting their team’s progress on the life factors as an opportunity to build trust with their team as well as to help them achieve peak performance as blooming employees.

Beyond reading the book, what else can I do as a leader or employee?

You can encourage your team to, and you yourself can, take advantage of the free assessment tool,, that I have developed. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete; will help you to understand your current work-life persona; and will outline considerations that you can contemplate and action as part of your personal journey if you want to realize some change with your work-life environment.