In our modern world, the need to balance our work, home and social lives is an ever-increasing issue. Whilst many people find it possible to detach from work at the end of the day, others fall victim to the “one more call, one more email, one more meeting” school of thought. In this article we take a look at several signs that can indicate that your working life may be holding sway over your social and family life – in many cases this can lead to stress, increased anxiety or related illnesses.
So, how can you tell if this relates to you? Here are a few tell tale signs.
1.) You can’t switch off from ‘work mode’
In an age of smartphones and tablets, it’s increasingly straightforward for people to check their emails or work messages at all hours of the day or night. Yes it’s convenient, but is it becoming too much of a habit? Do you check your emails every time your partner or kids leave the room, are you woken up by your phone pinging with the latest email, and do you feel the need to respond even though it’s 11pm and your partner wants you to enjoy your home time? Once you leave work, try to put the phone down or – even better – switch it off!
2.) It’s Saturday night – and you’re already thinking about Monday morning!
Something that most of us are probably guilty of is thinking about work out of hours. If you’re sat at home on a Saturday night already considering the list of things you need to achieve on Monday, then it’s time to separate your work life from your home life. There probably isn’t much you can do about a work issue on a Saturday, so just enjoy the weekend while it lasts! We work hard in order to enjoy our downtime, and those who can’t detach from work at the weekends may be heading for unnecessary stress down the line. Put down the laptop or smartphone and talk to those around you!
3.) The pub becomes just another place to talk about work
Just because your friends ask you “how’s work?” doesn’t mean they want the low down on the new client you’re working with, or the latest bit of gossip about Sandra from accounts, or how the new person isn’t pulling their weight; they most likely want to hear that it’s fine so they can go back to talking about something other than work. It’s important to balance thoughts about work with your social life – make sure that your social space is a place for fun and relaxation, not just an extension of the office!
4.) You choose a work social over your oldest friends
It’s all too easy to arrange an impromptu social event after working hours, thus spending more of your precious free time with your work colleagues. In reality, you may well have good friends at the office, but try not to spend all your out of hours time in the company of colleagues. Think twice about choosing the new girl from the office’s birthday drinks over plans with old friends. It’s important to make time for the people you’ve known for a long time too!
5.) Your relationship’s starting to suffer
Many relationships suffer when one or both partners are unable to make time for the other. Circumstances often dictate time apart, but if you are actively scheduling meetings or get togethers with colleagues in what ought to be family time, then there could be a serious issue. The next time you feel the need to schedule a work call at 10pm on a Saturday, think of the fun night out you could be having with your other half!