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The New Normal of Work: Where Does Work Start and End

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In this new normal of work where we work from the comfort of our own homes, how do we tell where work starts and ends? Before working remotely, our work days began and ended when we clocked in and clocked out, when we left home and arrived back home, but now that our office has been moved into our homes, how do we separate our work life from our daily life?  

From the executive opening the 110th email of the day without it being noon yet, the supervisor who can’t seem to leave the office without finishing the mountain of paperwork on their desk, to the assistant who refuses to take a vacation even after being urged by everyone for the 57th time already--the workplace is witness to these kinds of workers. And I’m sure you’ve encountered them at one point or another.

If you are familiar with all of the above--with those who leave the office last, those who can’t help but work extra long hours, those who can’t stop thinking or talking about work, then I’m guessing you know what a workaholic means. And if you are actually one of them, I’m afraid to say you’ve been living a life as a workaholic! You’ve probably been letting work take over most of your life which, you may or may not notice, is taking a toll on both your physical and mental health.

Well, now that the world of work has completely changed, all of us witnessing many companies, most likely including yours, shifting from an office to a remote setup, it’s time to ask yourself: how has your work routine changed? Has it changed for the better? Or worse?

The new normal of work

With the pandemic forcing people to stay home, work has been transformed to be something that we can do at home. And this raises the question, when working from home, how do we fully separate our work life from our daily life? How do you click on or off that work switch on the daily?

Before, arriving and leaving the office obviously meant the beginning and end of a workday. There used to be clear boundaries that delineated our office space from our home space but now that both are co-existing, you have to have ways of making sure that you’re not engaging in unhealthy work habits--you don’t want to fall into a work pattern that doesn’t give you space to breathe just because you work remotely. Don’t be a workaholic at home, but rather, make the most out of this new normal!

The neverending workday

We all have different ways of getting through our work days but there’s no denying that right now, they can seem endless. We get up and go through our day, sometimes not noticing how we’ve been weaving our daily routine with our work routine, making it hard to actually separate the two and blurring their lines, resulting in the feeling of neverending workdays.

For women though, the workday can even be more expansive--we have women who have demanding careers while also needing to care for children and do housework. Their workdays are so much different from the usual workaholics we are just so deeply immersed in their careers. Now that almost everyone is working at home, the difference between classic workaholics, both men and women, and women workaholics who do more than their fair share of work at home, becomes more emphasized. If you’re a classic workaholic, the struggle lies in finding a way to turn off that work switch when needed--taking a rest is okay. You are not obligated to work all day simply because you work at home and your workspace is always at your reach.

If you’re a woman with caregiving responsibilities on top of your job, it can’t be helped that the two can spillover to each other, making it hard to find a balance between the two. And now that you’re adjusting to a new work arrangement, it might seem easy to just let your work routine and daily routine flow amongst each other but that’s not efficient at all in the long run.

If you put things into perspective, this might even affect the way you view work, especially now that you’re working remotely. As a caregiver, falling into workaholic habits can compromise you as well as your family so keep yourself in check, and know that there is no such thing as a neverending workday. Make the most out of staying at home while working and learn how to manage it for the best.

Life beyond work

Then and now, there would always be life beyond work. It might be easy to get carried away with work especially when you have career goals in mind, thinking that hustling is the way to go in order to achieve them. Working hard is good but it doesn’t mean you have to give up important parts of your life for it. Don’t let little work things such as keeping a proper work schedule keep you away from actually growing your career. 

Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing.  By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career.  The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. 

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About half the sky

half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women connecting you to career opportunities at companies that care. Providing you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the rapidly changing workplace.

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