It has now been a year since I switched to remote sessions. There was a short period where face-to-face was able to return, but the majority of my sessions have been online.
One year in and many workplaces are beginning to shift more permanently to home working or a combination of office/home working. I thought I would revisit my previous post on home working for those who had to make this change. You can read the original post here.
Managing the boundaries between home and work can be difficult. This can be made harder when they are in the same location, especially if you are having to use living space as an office. For those who have had to deal with childcare/school closures this may have been complicated by flexible working hours leading to early/late working to balance it all (an impossible task!)
It is easy to fall into the habit of having a ‘quick email check’ at times you normally would not be working. Let’s be honest it is never quick. Technology has made all this possible, but the downside is we are likely constantly connected. As our boundaries blur, we may end up working earlier/later than normal, even into weekends as there may not be much else to do. Very easily we can slip into always being ‘on’ or having one foot in work mode. For some, this may have been true before the pandemic.
Another habit, and one I identified with recently, is working when feeling unwell. We are maybe a bit more comfortable than we would be in the office, not risking infecting others and we can be a bit more lenient with breaks/hours. But should we do it? You can probably guess the answer. This led to me adding the following question to the original list:
If I had to go in to do it, would I?
When we don’t have the physical boundary of getting to work it is harder to maintain work/life boundaries. This is why asking yourself the above question may be a helpful step to re-establishing boundaries. Ask yourself, If you normally wouldn’t physically go into work at that time/on that day to do that task, why are you doing it because you are at home?
- If I had to go into work now to finish this report, would I?
- If I had to go into work with this cold, would I?
- If I had to go into work to check/respond to that email, would I?
Try it next time you find yourself “just finishing this off” or “having a quick check of emails”
If work/life balance or work related stress is something you would like to manage, please get in touch to discuss.