Virtual Teams

Managing blurred boundaries between work and home

According to a College of Chicago study of people working from mid-March to mid-September, the average commute before the pandemic was 54 minutes. Commuting time saved was 60 million hours per day for people in lockdown.

  • 35%, of that time was spent working
  • 15% was spent on household chores
  • 11% was spent on childcare
  • 4% went to second jobs
  • 30% was spent on leisure

Overall working hours however declined from 36.4 hours to 32. It seems people were using greater time flexibility and switching to flex their working around other responsibilities.

You can see the article here (please note the headline and introduction is misleading, it claims Americans worked more during the lockdown but that’s not what the data showed)

In this environment, the boundaries between work and home time become increasingly blurred. The advantage of this is that we can be more flexible to work around other commitments. People who work from home regularly report this as a major benefit.

On the other hand, if we do not establish boundaries between work and home, this can lead to difficulties with work life balance and interference between home and work roles.

If your office is also your kitchen table it can be hard to resist the temptation to go back and do a little more work in the evenings. We need to establish time and space boundaries and share them with our colleagues and the people we live with.

If you are hard driving and assertive at work, it can be jarring to have to switch rapidly back and forth with a very different home role. We used to have commuting time to manage this transition, we need new techniques to replace this.

If we want to be able to sustain productive working from home we need to find the balance that works for us as individuals. Different people at different stages in their lives will have very different preferences.

In our webinars we help people understand the advantages and disadvantages of home/life blurring and show them how to establish healthy boundaries in space and time that work for them, and to manage the transition from home to work and back again.

If you would like to find out how to do this , why not get in touch?

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