How has your attitude towards working “off hours” changed in the past year or so? Do you try to only be on call/reachable during 9-5 (and put up snooze notices or the like during other hours) — or, for example, to only send emails when the time stamp will say a normal working hour instead of, say, 3 AM? What work-life boundaries are you putting up to keep work from encroaching on your life in general when you work from home?
I started thinking about this because I was updating our older post on answering work email at home. There has been a growing trend of workplaces expecting you to be responsive to work emails and messages ever since Blackberries and iPhones became ubiquitous, unfortunately. Given the amount of people who have been working from home over the past year, I fear all work-life boundaries have been obliterated… but I hope not. So let’s discuss!
Some of the questions we asked the readers in the older post are relevant today:
Do you have any tips, tricks, or hacks for dealing with this growing problem of being expected to answer work email at home — e.g., Do Not Disturb settings in Slack, automatic shut-off times, or even Boomerang for Gmail (on the sending side, at least)?
Work/life balance aside, do you think it looks unprofessional to clients and others to send or reply to email on nights and weekends — have you ever thought to yourself, WTH is this person replying to this at 3 in the morning? (For those of you who have coworkers spread around the country and globe, how much has that affected your answers?)
So let’s hear it, readers — what are your thoughts? How has work encroached on your home life in 2020 and 2021? What are the necessary work-life boundaries when you work from home?
Stock photo (yin/yang game board showing “life” and “work” separated, with blue game piece balanced between them) via Shutterstock / viviamo.