Apprentice Digital Communications Support Flower
12th July 2021
It is in our nature to want to work. It gives us a purpose and helps us have a focus. However, we should also have a decent amount of leisure time for both our health and our own productivity levels.
Thompson (2021) describes what is referred to as “Sunday Scares”. This is where even though most of the population have Sunday off as a leisure day, there are still high levels of anxiety knowing that the working week starts tomorrow. With most of the population still working from home, it is even harder to find this work-life balance.
When it was simply a matter of leaving the office, it was easier to switch off the analytical side of your brain. This is because it out of your line of sight, therefore you are less likely to be thinking about work. However, with 60% of the UK population working from home in March(2021), we have blurred these boundaries. In addition, the temptation to leave devices on sleep mode or standby when not working means we get into the unfortunate habit of checking work communications outside of your work time.
Here are some of my suggestions on how to best have a clear line between work and leisure to improve workplace culture and culture outside of work.
I personally don’t have the Microsoft Teams app on my phone because I often found that I was tempted to check the app even with notifications off. However, if you are a person who is effective at keeping apps closed, you may want to switch off notifications. This means that you avoid the temptation to reply to messages and emails outside of your work time. In addition, you can set clear starting and finishing times.
The biggest issue with notifications I find is with social media. As the communications manager for Inspire Me, I oversee the day to day running of the social media accounts. I find these easier to access on mobile. I therefore often create social content on my phone. However, this means I find it harder to resist checking the accounts when I’m not working.
The most effective way for me to avoid checking notifications is to turn off notifications and delete apps if necessary. When I am on annual leave, I message all of my relevant platforms to explain that I will be unavailable. For day to day non-working time, I do my best to not check work notifications. However, I will admit this is something I am working on.
When you’re approaching the end of your working day and you receive a message, you may be tempted to reply straight away. I have been there as I feel like I’m being rude for not replying as soon as I see the message. Let me provide some reassurance: you’re not! If an enquiry is urgent you can be contacted on your mobile. Focus on finishing up on your day and reply to the messages when you start work tomorrow.
Having a clear-cut plan for days off means you are more likely to feel accomplished in whatever means. This can help you have other focuses away from work. It also means you can feel better refreshed and have better work productivity.
Thank you for taking to time to read my blog. I hope you find these tips useful for improving your happiness and wellbeing whilst working and when off work.
If you’d like any more support with happiness in the workplace, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .