April 23, 2021
5 minutes of reading
This story originally appeared on Conversation
Dolphins will work much better from home than we do. They are capable live in two worlds at the same time: at night, they opened one eye and one brain warned, while the other and the other brain were asleep.
For us, we spend all day exchanging identities: between personal and professional ego, alternating not only between screens, but also between our different personalities and worlds. even in our own home.
We have lost the social norms used to distinguish between informality, formality and practicality. This loss can be challenging, but also an opportunity.
What can be done not only to make this bilateral existence – separate or bring together individuals and experts depending on what is most beneficial – but also to create a new workplace? We have two options: Reproduce and preserve boundaries between the personal and professional worlds, while maintaining certain gaps between the two worlds and / or fostering greater integration between worlds. our gender.
Unify life and cross borders
In recent decades, the boundary between our professional and personal lives faded. In our current knowledge economy, we are expected to be constantly connected. Furthermore, COVID-19 removed the remaining fragile barrier.
One research line suggests that separating the workspace and delineating the workplace and home is essential to our productivity and our health.
Blurring lines between career and private life, or what Blake Ashforth of Arizona State University describes as ” Boundary activities , “can lead to distraction, exhaustion, and even mental health problems.
How can we address this phenomenon and create a healthier work environment?
Option 1: “Cut the pudding”
Managers are responsible for coordinating team workflows, communicating with employees, and providing them with the resources they need to be able to set physical boundaries and timing between work tasks. their.
Create physical boundaries . In normal times, simple things, like wearing a suit and going to work, signal a transformation. Experts suggest creating The “physical” line between our professional and personal identities : getting dressed every morning to go to work; Replace our commute with exercise every day or create a private workspace at home.
Respect the time limit . Maintaining a regular work schedule can be a significant challenge, especially for workers who take care of their family and work at the same time. But without limits, employees will feel an obligation to systematically respond to each email instead of defining and respecting working hours. Expectations must be set together to allow both parties to maximize their productivity, while at the same time bringing life outside of work and defining their free time.
Option 2: “Increase combo speed”
We can also learn to perform better by combining working hours, restructuring work, improving communication, and reconciling professional and personal environments. Promoting diversity, inclusion and belonging, as well as working remotely, allows us to share more easily with colleagues at work.
We also spent all day pretending to be a different number of people. However, pretending to be someone we are not is a significant source of stress and cognitive disagreement in the professional context, especially among ethnic minorities. Two-thirds of us hide our true identities at work, which often leads to deterioration of both our physical and mental health.
In our “mixed context”, we don’t try to show different personalities. We can focus on our essential jobs during the most productive hours of the day or have business meetings while we take a walk to refuel our creation .
We can also check on more frequently about the situation of us and our colleagues, and identify the challenges that prevent us from leading productive and mixed lives.
Many agree that it is most important that teams have the tools they need to manage the well-being of themselves and their families, as our colleagues. Teresa Martín-Retortillo , the president of IE Business School Executive Education at IE University, told us.
Martín-Retortillo guarantees that its overall conceptual happiness has never been as decisive or relevant to the social context as it is now. In fact, in the sector in which it directs, IE Executive Education Group has trained managers on these issues for many years with support of IE Center for Health, Wellness and Happiness that academic institutions have.
After all, and like dolphins, perhaps we can learn to truly be present in two worlds, or wear pajamas to make zoom calls.