Recommended ReadsApril 13th, 2021

Disentagling you from your work

Catherine Manley
Catherine Manley, Senior Evaluation Consultant

Opening with the line “so what do you do?” at a social gathering will not win you much favour where I’m from (Ireland). This is why this New York Times article, Remember: What You Do Is Not Who You Are, struck a chord with me.

Working from home makes the compartmentalisation of the personal and the professional more difficult, yet even more critical. In this article, Tim Herrera presents an opportunity for self-reflection, recognition of boundary breaches and practical steps to regain a healthy distinction. Here’s just a few things that resonated with me:

  • Boundaries can be (or feel like) a privilege for many workers, especially when job insecurity is commonplace. However, we can wrongly fear that (re)setting boundaries requires permission. Often, we can just go ahead and decide – to stop work on time, to check our email less often, to turn off Slack for an hour.
  • As an employer or leader, you influence what others understand to be the workplace’s desired work-life distinction. Are you promoting (or otherwise rewarding) those who work like you? Who are you excluding by doing that?
  • If you’re lucky enough to love your work, it’s still important to “give that investment a ceiling”. What are your limits? What exchange are you actually willing to make?

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