The boundaries between our work and personal lives are becoming more and more blurred. With our advanced technology setting us up to be “always on”, bosses are more often expecting to be able to get in touch with their employees at any time of the day. When we are increasingly spending more time taking our personal lives to work and taking our work lives home, the question arises as to whether the work-life balance even exists anymore!
Jacob Morgan, author, speaker and futurist, explores how the workplace is changing and gives his opinion on the existence of the work-life balance:
“From what I have seen, if you don’t like your job, you’re more likely to have clear-cut boundaries between your work life and your personal life. Once the clock hits 5 or 6pm then you’re out of there and don’t want to see, hear, or think about work for the rest of the night!
But, if you love what you do, those lines become less clear-cut. Suddenly you don’t mind working later at night or early in the morning; you find yourself having fun while you work and it becomes harder to actually distinguish what work really is. In other words the more you love what you do, the more blurring there is.”
Jacob Morgan points out that while the work-life balance does exist, it is becoming increasingly challenging to achieve it and to clearly distinguish what is work and what is life. The boundaries are blurring and this is caused by being always connected. But it is important to remember that there is a difference between being connected and being available.
If you are struggling to escape your work, to disconnect at the end of the day, then separating your work and personal devices could help. If you have one mobile phone, tablet or laptop that you use for both work and personal matters, then it is a lot harder to switch from work time to personal time.
When your work is complete for the day, turn off your work devices so that you won’t be distracted by work issues when you want to take some time for yourself. If you do feel like you still need to keep an eye on a few things, then allocate yourself short time-slots to check your work devices.
Whether you love your job or not, you cannot always be “on”. You need to take the time to reflect and refocus in order to continue to be successful in your career. You should try to find a personal work-life balance that works for you. While this may not technically be a balance at all, what’s important is that you feel happy and fulfilled with what you do with your life.