Do you or someone you love find it difficult to separate from work? And do you find that your work personality doesn’t change when you arrive home? Transitioning from work to home can be difficult with some people preferring to maintain their work identity because it is more comfortable. Maybe it’s more comfortable because their skill set at work fits better than the one at home. Often work relationships are limited, unemotional, and impersonal which some prefer. For those in positions of authority, work allows them greater power, control, and independence. And unfortunately with the technology of today leaving the physical environment of work doesn’t imply that work is over. Many of us are required to respond to emails, texts, and phone calls even after hours. This makes it even more difficult to separate our work lives from our personal lives.
So which is it, do you choose not to disconnect or do you not know how to turn your work life off? Is your lack of awareness and your fixation on work destroying your relationships? When we are preoccupied with work issues or tasks, we have difficulties listening to others. Our work stress can impact every aspect of our lives.
Not only can work consume us, if we allow it, but the work persona can follow us home. At work, we’re expected to take charge, problem solve, motivate others, and lead the team. Changing to a more loving, give and take mentality upon pulling into the driveway is no easy task. Some of us have a long commute and can use that time to decompress and transition into a different person upon arriving home. Others have to make the switch while walking through the door and have very little transition time. For me, changing into comfortable clothes and having a little bit of alone time before jumping into home life helps. Being consciously aware of my role and expectations of both myself and spouse also helps reset my mindset to be more home focused. Going for a walk, having one drink, or watching the evening news can be another way to establish a routine that reorients a person to being in home-mode. Some couples limit the amount of time they spend talking about work. Think about the person you portray at work versus home and ask whether they are or should be different. In this case different may actually be a good thing. While treating both your staff and family with respect and kindness, recognize the value of interacting differently depending on your environment.