Working from home has made things easier for millions around the world, but it has also made it easier for employees to work more than they typically would at the office.
Virtual jobs shouldn't take all of the blame though, according to How to Money hosts Matt and Joel, advancing technology has continuously blurred the lines between work life and home life.
“Technology is a double-edged sword,” said Joel. “It can make it, so we get more work done in fewer hours, but that’s not how it shakes out.”
The hosts looked at the modern workday compared to a factory job from the 20th century. At the end of every shift, there was typically a whistle or bell that signaled that work was done. Today, however, work tends to follow us home.
“The same things that allow you to work from anywhere also allows you to work at any time,” said Matt. “How often do you find yourself checking an email and responding compulsively at crazy hours?”
Instead of letting technology do the work for us, we are letting it tempt us into doing more work. One way Matt sets a personal boundary between work and home life is by having a dedicated phone charging station out of his sight. He and his wife put their phones away when they get home, so any potential work distractions are out of sight, out of mind.
“It allows us to hopefully focus on the kids a little bit more,” he said. “In particular, Monday through Friday, they have been at school all day and have a lot they want to talk about. If I am tempted to hop on a text thread or respond to an email it is going to make those conversations feel more second rate.”
Our jobs constantly being available also cause productivity issues. Matt shared research that showed virtual and hybrid workers are working longer hours while getting less done.
“We are spending more time in front of our computers, but not getting as much done,” he said.
While these are a few of the downsides to virtual and hybrid work, the hosts are by no means calling for an end to the practice. They just want you to set some boundaries and develop a few of the work-life balance strategies they discussed in this episode. Make sure to listen to “Achieving Balance In a World of Work Domination,” to hear the full discussion.
How to Money launches several episodes a week but the financial content doesn’t stop there. Matt and Joel release detailed show notes for every episode, send out a weekly newsletter, and moderate a How to Money Facebook group.
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