The landscape of employment has changed drastically. Once upon a time ‘work’ was a place you went to but over the past few decades the definition has slowly moved toward something you do, rather than somewhere you go to.
For many of us, this has enabled flexibility that simply did not exist before. Working from home is a prime example of this shift. But what has driven this change? The simple answer is technology.
Technology has allowed many professions to move to an outcome-based work environment where work output can be measured and performed from anywhere with simple tools such as a laptop or even a smart phone. However, there are often unwelcomed side effects to living in a world where you don’t ‘clock off’ and walk away from your job at the end of the day. This has led to a working culture where people feel they are always available, leading to burnout and genuine interruption of family and personal time.
The solution is simple in theory but hard to execute and stick to. Much like diet and exercise, many of us know what to do but putting it into action can be a whole other ball game. In this instance the solution is to turn off the tech. This doesn’t have to be an every day, every holiday, or every weekend thing. You can choose when and how—starting small is probably the safest way. As with any change in your life, communicating your plan to those around you is critical.
If emails are your weak spot, put an autoreply on your email when you go on holidays. If it is the phone that catches you out, simply turn it off. If you are respectful and transparent, others will understand. Be courageous and try some tech-free time.