Staying Fresh: Battling to Leave Work at the Office

September 23, 2015 by FlexPro

rechargeIt’s 8:45pm and you’re following a tough day at the office by catching the end of your son or daughter’s practice.  Just before the final whistle is blown, your pocket vibrates with an email from the office well after the final employee has left the parking lot.

A quick answer is not a big deal and you quickly resume your night with the family, returning home a half hour later.  But the second you drop your keys on the counter and check the phone again, three more replies from three different people are lodged in your notifications.  Suddenly, personal time feels no different than roaming around the office.

The modern workplace has no walls, no confines, and, unfortunately, no 5pm clock that closes down the office.  For the most part, constant accessibility benefits business, particularly in a global marketplace.  But on the micro level, it also has roped employees who were once able to leave work in the normal 9-5 into disruptive messages and an inability to mentally check-out.

As important as it is to be constantly available, it’s just as crucial to make sure the modern employee hits the reset button on a day-to-day basis.  In the short-term, exhaustion, feeling a lack of balance, and ineffectiveness during real office hours are all concerns for those who never take time for themselves.  Long-term, frustration with the job, tension at home, and loss of career direction are all risks of not punching out nightly.

This week, we’re taking a look at a few ways to limit work intrusion into your time at home.  Those who truly dedicated to their work often go above and beyond and remain willing to keep those lines of communication open at all times.  However, a balanced approach may provide the best of both worlds.  Here are some strategies in the digital age to keep you fresh and recharge before taking on the next day:

Pick a Time & Stick with It

At some point in your evening, you’ll find yourself a few free moments to check back into the office whether it’s on your laptop or phone.  Utilize these moments, answer the emails that need immediate attention, and then log out for the night.  Even better, find the same few minutes each night and work it into your regimen.  This way, you’ll be able to completely focus on a couple of key responsibilities for a short amount of time before shutting it down completely.

Stay Active

Perhaps the most basic way to recharge away from the office is simply finding something that occupies your time and gives you a break.  It can be exercise, entertainment, or a hobby focusing on self-improvement.  Finding fulfillment and relaxation unrelated to your career promotes a healthy work/life balance and ultimately gives you something to look forward to at every moment of the day.

Don’t Sacrifice Important Moments

Part of recharging means making the most of the big moments in your personal life.  Assuming all work from the day is finished, take the night for yourself.  Having enjoyed family time, plans with a friend, or a hobby that allows your mind to wander away from the details of a professional assignment, you can be fresh for the next day.

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