Reestablishing Work & Life Boundaries

Workplaces have seen dramatic remodelling in response to the changes  brought about by employers trying to  manage the altered conditions resulting  from the pandemic and ensure that  employees could continue to work as  unhindered as possible. This response saw  the introduction of improved flexible working  conditions, adopting new technologies to  provide smoother work premises and work from-home options for employees. 

Though these flexible working conditions for employees  enabled them to continue working during a tumultuous  period of time, they’ve also introduced some troubling  practices and work standards from employers.  
How might this have impacted you as an employee? 
An employee’s work hours are contractually outlined  and agreed upon prior to commencing work for an  employer, but many employees may find themselves  working beyond these hours to finish tasks. It’s possible  that in the process of working from home or remotely,  you may have found yourself working longer than what  you are obligated to. Stick to the work hours that you  have agreed upon, and make sure that you are not  providing your employer with unpaid labour.  
There should be an understanding that employees are  not obligated to be available for their employers 24/7.  The technological intrusion of work into their personal  lives however can make it difficult for employees to  “switch off” during downtime. Blurring the boundaries  between work and personal, and heightening work  output expectations beyond what can be produced in a  workday can lead to increases in anxiety and stress, and  decreases in overall productivity. 
To ensure that you maintain your mental and physical  wellbeing, boundaries may need to be enforced to your  employer about what your work time should consist of  and what your downtime should mean. Employers have  a responsibility to understand when it is appropriate to  contact you outside of work hours. A simple way to look  at it is if no one will die from waiting on information, it  can wait until the next workday. 
As an employee, your focus should be on working  smarter, not longer. Prioritise important, time-critical  tasks over less-essential tasks, and ensure that your employer understands that any tasks left incomplete will  be addressed during the next workday. Ensuring that  information is available to complete tasks without your  presence required will prevent unnecessary contact.  
Our competitive job market can make it difficult to  voice concerns about your employment situation. It’s  important to communicate with your employer any concerns you may have.

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