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Three Work Boundaries to Draw in 2022

New year, perhaps a new you, and yet, what’s “normal” from the last two years still apply. Physical distancing, face masks, daily temperature checks, soap and water, and sanitiser - you know the drill by now.

While some employers have extended the flexibility of working from home, others are staggering teams in the office. Hybrid work-from-home and in-person work models have become the norm and many expect to continue to work two or more days away from the office even as omicron (and deltacron?) threaten to continue disrupting our lives for yet another year.

While working from home has provided some flexibility — a quick workout during lunch or a leisurely breakfast in place of the daily commute perhaps — the lack of boundaries between work and home life have caused burnout and fatigue.

Here are the boundaries you need to draw this year:

“This could have been an email”

Scheduling back-to-back calls and meetings to make up for the lack of face-to-face time isn’t actually helping productivity. Instead, it could be exacerbating fatigue and burnout. Instead, your energy is directed towards meetings and other low-value busyness rather than actually accomplishing any actual work. 

Saying no to always “on” culture

Presenteeism has evolved in the hybrid work era. Because you’re mostly out of sight, you may feel compelled to signal that you’re being productive by answering texts and emails or multitasking at all hours of the day. But looking productive doesn’t always mean that you’re being productive. In fact, it can increase inefficiency and add to your stress levels.

Switching off after hours

If you’ve ever had your boss text you after working hours, you know how triggering it can be to see their name on your phone. Not separating the workday from home time can lead to mental exhaustion and the sense that the day is never over. It’s more productive to write an achievable list in the morning, finish the day once the tasks are ticked off, then put away your laptop.

Written by:
Chloe Pharamond