If you are one of those who finds themselves reaching for the office laptop even after you have settled into your comfy nightwear at home, stop! We know you have your reasons, especially when all of us have our own mounting list of tasks to do each day. With the limited time we have at work (and the distractions that keep us away from work), those tasks may never see the light of day, unless we bring our work back home. While it seems like a no-brainer that we should dedicate at least an hour or two from our own personal time in the night, it has been suggested that it is this habit that keeps us up at night and prevents us from getting a healthy night of rest before the upcoming workday. While I haven’t had the experience of taking my work from the office back home, most of my friends have complained about how that is the only way that they can complete their tasks before they get to sleep. While it keeps the bosses happy, it comes with drawbacks, some of which include poorer quality of sleep, mounting stress levels and the inability to separate your work and personal life from each other. Read on to discover why you should avoid taking your work home when you leave the office.
Drawbacks To Bringing Work Home
Here are some drawbacks of taking your work from the office back home.
Bringing Stress Home
It is not uncommon to feel stress at work and when you bring your work back home, you take some (if not all) of the stress and tensions from work back to your home environment and that is bound to make you feel edgier when you interact with your family members. It is now a fact that when you do that, it would actually increase your risk of depression after a study found that office workers who spend more than 11 hours a day are more likely to suffer from depression. A likely reason for that would be that when you mix work and home together, it stops your physiological and mental recovery, making it harder for you to relax and give your body the rest and recharge that it needs.
Poor Work-Life Balance
Not to mention, taking your work home would also limit the time you spend on your personal life, be it spending time with your family, catching up on your favourite television shows or even maintaining your fitness and losing weight. When you deny yourself the chance of a good work-life balance, you risk damaging your life and the relationships you have built at home and in the workplace. Because of how some workers might forgo sleep in place of work, the sleepless nights and dark eye circles would make them suffer the next day when they have to stay mentally sharp and focused.
What To Do When Your Hands Are Tied?
If your hands are tied in this scenario and you absolutely have to take work home, here are some tips on how you can maximise the personal time that you are sacrificing.
When it comes to taking your work back home, try to limit the amount of time you are spending on your work. The longer it takes for you to finish your task on hand, the lesser time you are going to have to draw a deep breath and take your mind off work. What you can do right after you open your work laptop is to set all the distractions at home aside. It could be the television calling out to you or the mounting list of household chores begging you to finish them. It might even make you sweat from thinking about how chaotic your evening is going to be, but don’t let that distract you. Ensure that the urgent things on your office to-do lists are the first to go. If you can, ask your partner or family members to take over your household chores for today and you can double up on their duties for the following week. Only then can you focus completely on your work without allowing the other tasks to cloud your mind.
Calling It Quits
Aside from knowing how to concentrate on your work, it is just as important to know your limits when it comes to tackling your workload from home. What you need to understand is that work is work and the piling workload never really ends. If you do not realise this, you might just find yourself suffocating under the stress and pressure of your to-do list and this would seriously impair your abilities to focus properly. How you can avoid that is to set a non-negotiable time for yourself to set all your work aside and keep to it. A timing of around eight or nine in the night is a great time for you to put your tasks aside and focus on yourself, allowing yourself to transition into rest and relaxation. This is an important task if you want to stay mentally sharp and avoid dark eye circles on your workday.
Find Your Workspace
To make your work-from-home plans efficient, you would need a dedicated workspace designed for that. Things like a flat surface and adequate lighting like a desk with a table lamp would be good. Something that you should definitely avoid would be to work on your bed or in your bedroom, this only makes the transition harder from work to home much harder. It is always best to keep the bedroom for rest and not to put the two together to ensure that your mind and body understand when it is time for rest and when it is time for work.