Wellbeing: Suffering from Work/Life Blur? How to get back in control.
The boundaries between our work and home lives are getting more and more blurred. At the recent Cityparents Accelerator Conference, our Wellbeing Panel discussed the best ways to implement and manage home and work life boundaries. Here are their top tips – with huge thanks to panel experts Nick Elston - mental health and anxiety speaker; Grace Marshall – author, coach and Productivity Ninja; Rob Bravo – executive coach; and panel moderator Jo Dooley from Allen & Overy.
- Let Technology work for you
Technology is only as good as the person using it. So, we need to choose how we use it, look at the choices and make it work for you. Are you in charge of the technology or is it in charge of you? It’s a tool that dictates or supports. Try a mindset shift. Think what does this allow me to do and how should I be using it? Use it to your advantage and use its features like do not disturb, or manage your out of office responses.
- Don’t be afraid to switch off - literally
Fear drives us to check our work emails - the fear that if we miss an email then something catastrophic will happen and the reality is that it doesn’t. Think about the motivations for what you think might happen and rethink, because the reality is that you probably don’t need to respond to that email at 10.30pm. Switching off isn’t the end of the world, and makes you much more ‘present’ at home.
- Define your own start and finish lines
Work will always go on and Grace reminded us “That the work never ends so it’s up to us to define those start and finish lines.” It’s really important to decide what done looks like. Remember work expands to fill the time available so it’s about making the shift – and having some conversations with ourselves about priorities. Define what you are working on, but don’t multi-task – “it makes the work harder and takes longer.”
- Turn off the guilt
Working parents end up feeling guilty for leaving work and feeling guilty for not being at home. These thoughts and scenarios make working parents feel make anxious and feel bad for leaving the work for others. So, turn off the guilt.
- Be the change
People look to the boss or the manager as an example - how you show up and what you do. It’s a cliché but as Rob says, if you want to influence flexible working culture in your environment then “Be the change”.
- Let people choose how they work
Giving people the choice of how they work helps them work best. Nick said that “When you give people the freedom to work out how they work best, they can find their flow.”
- Encourage open discussion
It’s the fear of being judged or being written off, so having an environment where people can talk is really important. Have conversations about flexible working within the team. Have awareness on how you and your colleagues work best and think about what needs doing to enable it.
By Kim Willis, Cityparents
Panelist contact details:
Rob Bravo | Website: www.talking-talent.com/ | Twitter @talkingtalent
Nick Elston | Website: www.nickelston.com/ | Twitter @nickelston_ | Facebook @NickElstonSpeaker | Instagram @nickelston_
Grace Marshall | Website: www.grace-marshall.com | Twitter @@Gracemarshall | Facebook @gracemarshallcoaching
Released On 7th May 2019