Work life blending – the idea that employees can and should be able to integrate their personal lives into their work lives – has become more prevalent with the increased opportunity for telecommuting and flexible work hours, among other things. If we want to retain the sanity of our employees, we need to help them keep work from invading their personal life needlessly, however. To do this, it’s important to foster an environment where work life blending can occur, while still respecting boundaries and maintaining professionalism. How do we keep work from invading our personal life?
If you’re working from home, it’s vital to keep a clear divide between your personal life and work life. For example, when working out of your home office, make a conscious effort to leave all work materials at work. If you must take them with you (e.g., something you forgot or need for an upcoming meeting), consider putting them in a portable document holder that allows easy access but keeps things contained so they don’t clutter up your apartment or house.
This is an important one for work-life blending. As mentioned, in order to retain sanity, you have to keep work life from invading your personal life. One of my favorite ways to keep those lines clear is to block out stress completely—and I mean completely. No answering calls or texts after hours and no checking email until I wake up in the morning. The mind needs a break from intense focus on a single task, and so do I!
Switching off your brain isn’t easy. There are many things that cause work to follow you home like constant emails, smartphone notifications and that never-ending to-do list that has been sitting on your desk since day one. To help you switch off and relax, it is necessary to start taking care of yourself by creating a healthy separation between work life and personal life.
It’s easy to keep checking email even when you’re supposed to be relaxing or sleeping. That’s why we need to find ways of keeping work life blended and making sure our personal lives don’t become consumed by work. Here are some suggestions for avoiding checking email at night or on weekends
Technology can certainly be a huge help to telecommuters who want to keep work life separate and personal life separate. Technology can help you avoid scheduling conflicts, but it’s still up to you to protect your time and make sure you stay focused on work when work is supposed to be happening. Some of our favorite tools for keeping work life blending in check include Basecamp, Calendly, Toggl, Slack, Trello and Slack. Check out more productivity tools on Forbes.