As millions of employees around the world have had to make an unprecedented shift to remote work amid the coronavirus pandemic, many might find themselves feeling like they need to work all the time to signal their devotion and productivity — and, as a result, may struggle to create healthy boundaries. The lines between work and non-work are blurring in new and unusual ways, and many employees struggle to preserve healthy boundaries between their professional and personal lives.
Research shows it is important to: 1) maintain physical and social boundaries; 2) maintain boundaries on how you use your time; and 3) focus on your most important work.
Try to maintain these boundaries when working remotely. In the short-term, it may be a welcome change not to have to catch an early train to work, or to be able to spend all day in your pajamas—but both of those things are boundary-crossing activities that can do you good, so do not abandon them altogether.
Sticking to a 9-to-5 schedule may prove unrealistic. Employees need to find work-time budgets that function best for them. They also need to be conscious and respectful that others might work at different times than they do. Creating clear temporal boundaries often depends on the ability to coordinate ones’ time with others.
The COVID pandemic has triggered many people to have the need to control and avoid uncertainty. With something as unpredictable and uncertain as COVID-19, an automatic reaction might be to be overly optimistic or positive to avoid reality.
The research around positive thinking generally focuses on the benefits of having an optimistic outlook when experiencing a problem. Toxic positivity, by contrast, demands positivity from people regardless of the challenges that they face, potentially silencing their emotions and deterring them from seeking social support.
Toxic positivity encourages people to ignore difficult emotions, potentially intensifying the power of these feelings. Although positive thinking offers some benefits, no one can think positively all the time. Forcing someone to express only positive emotions can stifle their ability to communicate and make them feel bad about themselves for having negative thoughts.
Employee well-being, engagement and self-development increase when leaders put their hearts into not only ensuring the physical but also the mental health of their staff. M9 is supportive of all our employees to provide what they may need to be physically and mentally healthy.