Digitalization is changing the way we work. Today, with our laptop or mobile we can work whenever and wherever. Our collaboration solution supports this flexibility by allowing access to all information and documents anytime, anywhere and from any device. Tasks are no longer bound to locations or a specific time, which makes it difficult to set boundaries between work and private life.
Who is not familiar with this situation? A quick reply to an e-mail before going to bed. A private phone call between meetings. Improving the presentation for the following day during a Netflix series. Before lunch break, a quick visit to the dentist.
Where work and private life begins, and ends is no longer clear.
Some use the missing border as an opportunity to plan and organize their lives according to their own wishes and needs. For others, however, the separation between work and private life is becoming a huge challenge.
Also in our company and in customer projects we see that there are people who suffer from this blurring line. Especially when the flexible working model is new territory for them.
It is important in that case to offer strategies to organize individual time better and thus to draw borders more easily. Here are some strategies that might help:
Use separate devices for work and private life
Draw spatial boundaries, for example define areas in the home office that serve exclusively for work tasks
Switch off disruptive devices for either work or private life or at least switch off push notifications
Be mentally present in the situation and completely detach yourself from the other area
Organize time so that priorities are dealt with in the highest concentration phase
Schedule time in your calendar for private activities
Discuss and coordinate availability with colleagues and superiors
Limit expectations about availability
Reach out to colleagues who are able to deal with the dissolution of boundaries, see them as role models or social support
Avoid linking work-related and private social media accounts
These strategies serve to better control the boundary between work life and private life. Those who manage to implement these strategies may start to see the blurring boundaries of work and private life as an opportunity rather than a challenge.