Working from home has been a revelation for so many businesses, particularly since the pandemic. People are able to be more flexible than ever before by working around their children, appointments and even days in the office in a hybrid situation. Remote working has opened doors for some but there has been at least one negative side effect – blurred lines.
The line that becomes very quickly blurred when working from home is the moment your working day finishes and time with your family begins. If you’re working from home all the time, it’s very easy to keep doing it after hours, on weekends and recently, we’ve found that people are taking work with them on holiday.
The impact that this has on your family is one thing but what about the impact on you? This study determined that working from home could be associated with a much higher likelihood of working stress and negativity. There are plenty of pluses to being at home and working but if the time you spend is impacting your family time, there is a ripple effect that must be considered.
In this blog, I’m going to discuss some tips that will help you to draw a line between working from home and spending time with family so that you no longer merge the two.
Find a Dedicated Space
The first thing that anyone working away from an office has to do is find a space to work in that’s quiet and accommodating to their needs. If you have no choice but to bring your laptop with you on a family holiday away from the house, mark out a space in the holiday home where you plan to work. Bringing your laptop to the beach is not the right idea – the sun will burn it, for a start!
When you work away from an office you need to mark out some space to concentrate and focus on your work that allows you to work undisturbed. You might have a home office or a corner of a quiet room with a desk, chair and somewhere to store all your paperwork. When you go on holiday it’s always ideal to leave all this work behind. It’s not always possible, though, so making space for you to work in a hotel or holiday home is the next best thing.
If you choose to work from home and still join your family while they’re away, you need set boundaries on both time and space so that you can be effective and find a balance. A dedicated space means dedicating work in that area: not bringing the laptop on a hike or taking work calls by the pool! As you carve out somewhere to be comfortable and work, make sure that you work only the hours you’re supposed to and no more.
Be Mindful of Your Family
A big issue with taking work on a family holiday is the impact it has on your family dynamic. When you work at home, the kids expect that you’ll be busy for certain periods in the day. A family holiday is supposed to be the time you spend together away from school and work to make memories and relax.
Understanding how your job and where you work impacts your family is of high importance. Your job is important, yes, but checking in with your family before you bring your work with you to a hotel or resort makes good sense. Being mindful of how they feel and what they think will ensure that you are making the right decision for them.
Instead of bringing work with you on holiday and not relaxing, you should take your annual leave at this time. Anyone – remotely working or being in the office – deserves time away from the computer screen or their responsibilities. Not only will this positively impact your family because they will get to spend time with you, help you to rest and recharge fully.
Implement Healthy Work from Home Boundaries
One of the easiest pits to fall into when working from home is the one where you give yourself that dedicated space but you don’t give yourself boundaries with your time. This leads to burnout in the end and it’s up to you to be proactive in your management of yourself. Are you sitting at your desk working overtime everyday? Do you find that you’re working over the kids’ bed or meal times? When is your time to rest in all of that?
Ensuring that you are flexible with your work but insistent on your boundaries with your time is important and you have to talk to your Manager about this. If you are the one in charge, then it’s up to you to ensure that your team are conscious of their working hours. Once they’re done, they’re done and you must model that same behaviour.
it’s so important that you are engaged with your work while you’re working and you’re engaged with your family while you’re on holiday. It is not always easy to split yourself in that manner but it’s a must if you want to be effective in both your home and work life. Boundaries with your job also matter because you shouldn’t be working from home or on holiday to the point it’s having an impact on your family.
Delete the Apps
We’ve been discussing the impact your job is having on your family and how taking annual leave is going to help you to take work out of your family holiday. A good way to do this is to also remove your working apps from your phone during that time.
We have all been there where we’ve been at a dinner or a day out with friends and checked work emails or the group chat notifications on Teams. Instead of being tempted by what your team are doing, what your clients are doing and whether there are discussions happening, removing your own access will help.
Before you head off on annual leave and delete those work apps, talk to your team and work together to make a plan to cover your work so that you don’t have to worry about anything while you’re relaxing. Preparation is key if you plan to take a family holiday because without decent prep, you’re going to feel like relaxing is an impossible task.
Check In with Yourself
The last thing to remember is that checking in with why you can’t help but work when you’re supposed be relaxing is important. Identifying whether you feel you’re going to miss out on something, whether you don’t feel deserving of a rest or whether you have time management issues is your next move. Are you in the right role where you are being supported? It’s important to figure that out!
At peoplefusion, we can help you to determine whether the role you are in is the right fit, or whether you are in need of new employees for your team. Contacting us today is your next step for finding your next leadership role in Australia.