Work/Life Balance and Boundaries ? Who is responsible?

by Nov 28, 2017

It is not uncommon for us to blur the boundaries between work and home life. With many of us checking our emails after hours, and even sneaking into the office for some quiet ?catch up? time on a Saturday, it?s becoming habitual.

However, if each of us were really honest with ourselves, we don?t want to live like this. Nobody does.

So why does it happen?

In a nutshell, this has a great deal to do with fear.

We fear falling behind on deadlines. We are afraid that somebody younger and more energetic, who doesn?t yet have kids, is going to usurp us. And we worry constantly about those kids going hungry when we lose our job and can?t pay our bills.

There is a huge sense of instability quietly pushing us to work longer, harder, faster and better. But often, fear isn?t 100% based in reality. Sure, fears start out that way, but over time our worries get distorted and blown a little out of proportion.

Here is a little perspective check for you. If you are worrying about a younger person usurping you and taking your role, for example. Then consider the fact that they probably don?t want to be where you are, since you are having to work extra hours. Just because a younger person has more time and energy, doesn?t mean they want to spend it all in the office. Perhaps they?d rather be socializing or travelling? Hmm?

Okay, so let?s take a breath and think about this with fresh perspective.

Our culture of more work and blurred boundaries is something we?ve created ourselves, through our collective stresses and worries. Many of us imagine that our line managers would be delighted by how many extra hours we put in; by that commitment we demonstrate. But if you actually asked your line manager you might be surprised.

A good manager will want you to look after yourself. They can see the bigger picture, which ends with you burning out from overwork, and they want to avoid that at all costs!

The trouble is, we will never know this while we all live and work in relative silence about this. So I really want to encourage you to talk to your team; your colleagues, your manager, and any staff that you manage.

This fear that many of us have about not being ?enough?, and needing to go over and above to stay safe in our jobs in a sneaky one. If often goes without being spoken about.

But it?s there. It whispers in our ear, ?check your emails?, when we are cooking dinner in the evening. It whispers again, ?just get a little head start on Monday?s work?, on a Sunday night.

I think we all need to take control for ourselves. It is our responsibility to maintain our own healthy boundaries. And if you are a manager, then please consider helping your team with this too.

Remember the long game; your boundaries prevent burn out. Stick to your official work hours now, and stay on top of things in the long run. Working yourself into the ground won?t make you irreplaceable.

Sarah

Sarah

Marketing

About the author

Sarah’s background is psychology, and she completed a Cognitive Neuroscience degree in 2014. She has worked in marketing for several niche learning and coaching clients and is fascinated by behaviour, happiest when writing content and teaching. She is a published author.

9 Big Problems with McKinsey 9 Box Grid for Talent

The McKinsey 9 box talent matrix is used by a huge number of companies around the world as a way to identify and calibrate talent performance and potential of a team or hierarchical level. But why does it not work when reviewing talent?

If you would like to scrap performance reviews you need to read this…

We all know that performance reviews are mostly despised by managers and employees alike, but getting rid of them may not be the silver bullet you are looking for.

What if you were allowed to be your best self at work? Dan Cable

Really interesting video about how we can get the best out of ourselves and our people by focusing on strengths. Applications to how we train/teach people to engage with our message and influence behaviour.

What are your Leadership opt-in rates as an influencer?

A manager said to me “Ive invited this other manager to our team meetings, but he didn’t come, so he is not interested. We talk about collaboration but he hasn’t shown up.”

So I asked “You work in CRM right, what is your optin rate at the moment?”

Failure ? the ?F? word of the workplace?

In a competitive, results-based environment, ?failure? carries a certain stigma. But it?s also a huge learning opportunity. As leaders and team members, it?s hugely important for the good of our selves and our colleagues that we take those teachable moments and focus...

The quest for authentic flexibility

Really interesting discussion resulted this weekend between coaches in two camps.

What is Talent Management

The definition breaks down different areas of Human Capital Management (HCM) into work streams that are easy for us to understand. I have put some of my own changes to the original quote in square brackets [].

Brexit – Boosting Britain’s Productivity

As People Management reports "Employer confidence was down 40 points ? the lowest since the EU referendum on 23 June 2016. The net balance of hiring and investment decisions also fell, by two points to nine over the same period"...

There is always tomorrow…to make it right

When training a group of new managers I was reminded that managing a team is a lot like looking after children.
They bring you laughter, make you cry and keep you up all night worrying about what they said, you said, what you didn’t say, what you should have said or what you didn’t mean to say.

Snow Days, Sickness, and the Christmas Comedown: Top Survival Tips for the Career-Minded

Warning ? we are now entering the season of snow days, sick days, and the comedown period between Christmas Day and New Year?s Eve. If you are one of those career-minded people who feel a bit lost while on holiday, then I know how you feel and I wrote this post for...

Time to Competence

Are you looking for better way to upskill people faster?
Of course you are. In fact, CIPD Future Talent Needs 2016 suggests 48% of HR leaders are ?focused on upskilling existing staff with the skills the business needs?, and ?focusing on succession planning? is next (33%).