4 ways to wisely balance work and home – avoid Smartphone overuse

“Do you have to use your Smartphone 24x7, you’re always working...?”

“Do you have to use your Smartphone 24×7, you’re always working…?”

“Do you have to use your Smartphone 24×7, you’re always working…?”…does this sound familiar? If so, then this blog is certainly one for you!

Think about today, have you experienced work-home interference from overusing your Smartphone? To ensure a happy lifestyle, we must ensure that we get this home life, work life balance right….and in many cases overusing our Smartphone’s can work to blur these lines.

In many cases this line blurring occurs when employers suggest their people should be available almost all of the time. This means many people stick glued to their mobiles phones to ensure they remain reachable…

But, don’t just take my work for it. Recent research has found that:

  • People who felt highly engaged at work tended to find effective ways to detach home from work
  • People who thought that their supervisor expected them to be highly available suffered high levels of home-work interference. Also, this tended to be a negative imbalance when experienced via their Smartphone off-duty at home
  • People who didn’t think that their supervisor expected them to be highly available suffered lower levels of home-work interference
  • High levels of work-home interference elevated stress, and lead to;
  • Deterioration of performance and reduction in life satisfaction.

So, how do we work to separate our home and work lives to ensure a happy balance? Well, here are 4 tips that should help:

  1. Supervisors by modelling good practice with their Smartphone, both at work and at home, demonstrate clear expectations and provide permission for their team to follow suit
  2. Supervisors should take care when they respond to work messages during leisure time, as they may inadvertently build expectations about constantly being available
  3. Organisations should positively engage with employees in order to reduce the impact of Smartphone use, and to positively set the scene for overt team agreement
  4. Supervisors are recommended to support team members by linking team values and expectations about Smartphone use with an agreement on team collaboration. This is often constructively done during a team review of what they do well when working together so they can do more of it.

So, put down your Smartphone and try and draw a line between your work and home life. You’ll thank me in the long run!

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Certified ACT practioner
  • Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
  • Certified Mediation practioner, to address workplace conflict,
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments

How to bounce back from hard times

You can improve your resilience, making you more capable of dealing with setbacks

Pride (2)

Positive feelings, such as joy, interest and pride, are pleasant to experience

Positive emotions build resilience to setbacks, improve relationships and help to us be healthy.

Positive emotions build resilience to setbacks, improve relationships and help to us be healthy. We know this from a wealth of psychological research.

Positive feelings, such as joy, interest and pride, are pleasant to experience. Our bodies relax and our heart-rate lowers. When we are in a positive emotional mind-set we sit up and smile, and we want to share the associated positive experience. We open up to other people, adopt a wider point-of-view and feel more like participating than when a negative emotional mindset is in play.

On the other hand, negative emotions, such as anger, fear and anxiety, make our bodies tense up. We tighten our jaw and our heart-rate increases. We pull inwards, close down and narrow our point-of-view. Often memories associated with these feelings turn into mental videos that are difficult to halt. Have you noticed that the positive emotions are also more subtle and quieter than negatives ones?

Negative emotions pack an intense emotional punch as they are hard-wired into us as protection from hard knocks and danger. This means a high number of positive moments is needed to offset the negative mindset that results from just one negative moment.

So, negativity is characterised by intense impact, and positivity the need for frequent such experiences. This difference in how we experience positive and negative emotions means we perceive negative emotions strongly, resulting in a natural bias towards negativity. Even so, a high volume of positive emotions can offset this bias.

Positive emotions offset negativity as they create resources within us that we can draw upon in more challenging times. A positive mindset generates resilience, improves relationships and helps us to be healthy. This means that work becomes more manageable and we have more energy available. This, in turn, helps us to control and adjust to the impact the world has on us.

Both positive and negative emotions have their place; they make us human. However, positive emotions need attention if we are to readily benefit from them.

The positive emotions, all 10 of them, are listed in the table below:

Lookout for and savour positive emotions to build resilience

Lookout for and savour positive emotions to build resilience

Explore positive feelings and emotions with the aid of these two tips:

  1. Keep a list of positive experiences. Perhaps note them down on the way home from work or shopping, or over a bedtime drink at the end of the day. I bet you’ll be surprised at just how many there are.
  2. Revisit them in the morning to energise your day, savour them and enjoy them. In a year’s time look back at them again.

 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

T: 07779 345 499

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Certified ACT practioner
  • Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
  • Certified Mediation practioner, to address workplace conflict,
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments

How to use mindfulness to support your people during changing times

mindful walking

Mindfulness can be done anytime, during a walk is ideal

Meditation is now being used to help people deal with the stress change in the workplace brings. Called ‘Mindfulness’, it can be used for a short time every day – with big results.

Anyone can learn Mindfulness. It’s simple yet challenging. You can do it anywhere, at any time, and the results have been shown to be life changing.

To recap, this form of meditation can be done anywhere to help stop you becoming engulfed by the mind’s emotional ‘chatter’, so it doesn’t control you.

Here are some ideas on how to be mindful:

It can be helpful to pick a particular time – your journey to and from work or during a lunchtime walk – to actively notice your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations, and the world around you. Try doing this today: find a new lunch spot or sit in a different seat when travelling to work. Now examine your surroundings, such as the air moving past you; or look at an item in detail (a raisin, a sweet wrapper).

Be mindful during a walk

Be mindful during a walk

Examples could include:

  1. Sensations – the food you are eating, the air moving past your body as you walk, your breathing…
  2. Colour
  3. Sound
  4. Smell
  5. Taste

Now, notice the chatter going on in your mind. Observe your thoughts as they float past. Don’t try to change them or debate them, or judge them – just observe them. Practice helps, so this ‘chatter’ doesn’t become yet another mental event that controls you.

Does this sound like a small thing to you? Yes, it is, but it’s straightforward too. However, it is proven to help us engage more in the everyday activities we often bypass as we are often on autopilot. In this way, we gain a fresh view of the world – and our place in it.

When to use it:

Whenever you can and especially when you experience several moments that see you dwelling on unsettling, possibly distressing, memories – the kind that involves you reliving the event. You may find it helps to silently name these thoughts and feelings as they emerge. For example: “I am worrying”; “I’m not good enough to do this”.

Please get in touch with Marjorie Raymond, on 07779 345 499, or email m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk, if you would like to talk about Mindfulness.

My next blog post will look in detail at ACT, Mindfulness’ relative, and how it has been used to help people and organisations during times of change – and as an ongoing part of employee wellbeing and engagement activities. ACT stand for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments

 

 

 

 

Make working from home a success

Clear separate physical space for work is necessary for successful working at home

Clear separate physical space for work is necessary for successful working at home

Success, freedom and instant flexibility are often expectations mentioned when people give reasons for working from home.

Researchers1 have found that having a defined and largely dedicated space to work in at home helps successful homeworking. Many people experiment until they get the space right. This includes how they use and manage their equipment, room environment, and ambiance. In particular, dedicated space and decoration of a room helps to signify to family and friends that it is work space. This helps establish work and non work boundaries at home. People working from home then make choices about where activities, such payment of bills on-line, are undertaken in the ‘home-office’ or in a non work space.

1 Mustafa. M and Gold, M (2013) ‘Chained to my work?’ Strategies to manage temporal and physical boundaries among self-employed teleworkers’. Human Resource Management Journal, 23 (40), pp 413-429

 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

 

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour.This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

 

 

 

Under Pressure

Under Pressure

Under Pressure

If you are under pressure/stress, here are some tips  from research that may help you. If you do nothing else, at least do these two things?

  • Despite feeling pressure maintain your contact with your people
  • Maintain trust; give and earn respect by treating people fairly and consistently

Best of all do these as well:

  • Feedback is crucial for you and your people. If you have acted on the two points above then ask for feedback and give feedback in return
  • Demand excellence, expect it. However, recognise and reward
  • Encourage knowledge acquisition
  • Help people to include stretching and challenging aspects of work into their role

Both with your people and those for whom you work, pick your issues and fight for them wisely.