1. It’s important to make a clear distinction between work and home - especially for employees who work from home.
2. Simple tricks can be implemented such as setting designated work hours, blocking emails outside of work hours, and enforcing device-free time.
This week is about creating boundaries between work and home life. Employees should understand when they are at work, they are expected to be fully at work. When they are at home, they are fully at home.
If employees are working from home, there should be a defined time they work before engaging with their families. As more employers offer work-from-home options for employees, the clear distinction between work time and downtime is even more important.
Email policies, such as those outlined in Work Mastery, should be in place. Pick appropriate “work hours” and make sure employees do not receive or respond to emails outside of those times. Have employees set up autoresponders, or even better, have the IT department set the servers so they don’t send or receive emails during those hours. Senders can get a bounce back explaining the policy and offering a link where they can reach someone if the matter is urgent.
There should also be “device-free” times throughout the day. Expect a little bit of initial panic at this. They will say, “What if my children or my spouse or the teachers need to get hold of me?” But to soothe any concerns, provide a number, perhaps one assigned to a secretary or assistant, that friends and family can call in the event of an emergency. Feeling like you always have to check your phone contributes to feelings of exhaustion and burnout, and we’re teaching our children that this level of connectivity and anxiety is acceptable.
By introducing these simple rules to follow, employees will be fully engaged in work at work, and can enjoy their time with friends and family when they’re at home.