Work can tend to overwhelm those who continue working when the have left the office. Keeping the technology at bay for a break now and then may have to become a conscious effort to avoid being drowned in the process.
Working a 40-hour per week traditional schedule is becoming more and more an anachronism. Data from the 2013 and 2014 Gallup Work and Education surveys showed that American workers put in an average 47 hours in a typical week. That’s almost an extra work day in the standard period. A lot of the activity takes place outside the usual work site.
Employees find themselves checking work emails at home or taking business calls after they have left the office. There are some ways to minimize the extra-office work time, including these:
Schedule off-work activities for times when you are not expected to be at the office. Exercise classes or free gym time, for instance, can be set at early morning times. Paying a trainer to help you stay in trim may be incentive to adhere to a schedule. Make arrangements with a family member or friend to enhance the chances you will take the time. Set up activities one or two nights a week. Make it an objective to leave the office on time no less than 20 percent of the time.
Involve your co-workers in off-site activities. Set up a company softball or bowling team or other inclusive activity, for instance. That will strengthen bonds and offset the tendency to go on working when the workday ends. Talking shop is inevitable, but keep it at a minimum.
Turn off the devices. Smartphones and Tablets. They’re wonderful for keeping tabs on work-related things, but take a break! They keep you connected to the office and can impinge on family and relaxation time. In 2013, Opinion Matters conducted a study that showed 39 percent of workers checked their work emails outside of their regular work hours, and 81 percent said they do it on weekends. If you are serious about cutting the cord and giving yourself that respite from work that you really need, turn them off.
The job is important. We all know that. But the job will go better if you mix in some non-work activity. Try it. You’ll like it.