Creating Boundaries in a Connected World

We live in a connected world these days and this means you have your virtual office connected to your smartphone.. allowing you to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Despite this, how can we achieve the necessary boundaries between work and home life?

The traditional 9 to 5 workday is starting to become a thing of the past.  Flexible work schedules and remote offices have become fairly common in many industries.  Some employees like this shift, as it means more time at home with family and friends.  However, this booming trend also raises the important question of whether remote employees should be required or even obligated to stay connected 24/7.

To accommodate this growing trend, many companies are starting to introduce specific project management platforms where employees are able to access work, chat with team members, as well as safely share important files from their home computer, smartphone, or tablet.  The goal of these platforms is to only streamline project management and improve team communication.  It also means you can have your full workload at the tip of your fingers when you are off the clock, which can blur the lines of work-life boundaries.

Here are a few tips to achieve this necessary balance of work and family:

Being connected all the time does not mean you are actually being productive. Workers who are constantly replying to emails may have the sense they are actually being productive when they actual are not.  Productivity means you are in control of your time and you, in turn, decide how to spend your hours based on your goals or objectives.

If you chose to work remotely, only you can succeed with high levels of self-discipline. In short, you know yourself better than anyone!  Ask yourself: Do you easily get side-tracked at home with household chores?  Do you do burned out because you don’t know when to start or stop working?   Working effectively at home means you must set clear goals, plan ahead, track your time, and make sure you are productive during your dedicated work hours.

Work-life balance vs. flexible work schedule.  Yes, you can have both… with flexibility!  Being flexible is a key in achieving this balance.  The problem, however, is the lack of control that comes from not knowing how to plan your day or having the discipline to actually follow-through with that plan.  Just remember… set realistic goals and be disciplined to achieve them and you will have success!