4 Ways to Create Boundaries in a Digital Work Atmosphere

The benefits of technology and IT support are innumerable, and you can feel the impact in every sphere. Smart devices, internet banking, telemedicine are just a few areas where technology has improved life. However, it can do more harm than good without finding the right balance. And this is why technology has been called the greatest disruptor of happiness in human history. 

Technology is supposed to save time, but it can also be so immersive that you lose track of time. Social media and gaming readily come to mind. Humans are social beings, and social contact is important in development. But all that is being threatened. 

Research suggests that technology could be hurting human happiness and emotional development. This shows that as much as technology can be a lifesaver, it also portends some dangers, such as addiction. This also extends to how it can be a stressor in the workplace if not properly controlled. 

France recently passed a law to establish workers’ right to disconnect from work-related communications after work hours. This law looks to protect workers from being punished for ignoring after-work hour messages. The law aims to realign healthy and ethical work-life balance standards in a digital era. 

How to Create Boundaries in a Digital Work Atmosphere

One of the perks of a remote job is that it gives you the flexibility to get work done anytime. Healthy boundaries at work put you in charge of your time, attention, and energy. But gradually, this flexibility could affect family time, friends, and your ability to hold face-to-face communication. Here’s how to create boundaries in a digital work atmosphere.

  1. Clarify Out-of-Hours Procedures

In a workplace, you must clarify procedures and policies. A good place to start would be to re-familiarise yourself with your contract, and it will help you understand the company’s expectations of you. You’d also be clear on what is obtainable and not guess. 

If you still don’t know the out-of-hours expectations, speak to HR or your manager. Having clarified their expectations, you can then set personal boundaries, deciding the best communication channels when out of work.

Using a virtual voicemail service can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. A virtual voicemail helps you get messages when you want without being compelled to respond at the moment. You can respond to them anywhere, any time on any device. Even better, you can preview messages in text and email, helping you determine which is urgent and important. 

  1. Hold Your Weekend Emails

The pandemic fastened the remote work reality, but it also blurred the line between work and personal life. Research showed that 70 percent of remote workers work on weekends. When employees have the habit of constantly checking work emails on weekends, there’s an increase in stress and decreased productivity. Studies show that employees experience anxiety and low sleep quality when responding to emails after work hours. 

It is essential to resist the urge to check emails because emailing is work. Checking one email can lead to responding, especially if it’s from your boss. Then you suddenly realize you need to communicate with someone else. Before you know it, you’ve spiraled down into an email marathon which might cause you to resent your manager. 

  1. Use an Away Message

Your company hired you because of your creativity, problem-solving, and communication skills as a business professional. But when you’re anxious and tired, you can’t offer the best of your brainpower to your organization. It is essential to refuel your body and mind, and one way to do so is by spending quality time with loved ones. 

Setting an away message on your official communication app is important, especially over the weekend. Colleagues know you can’t be reached and will only find alternative means in case of an emergency. An away status can truly help you get your mind off work and relax.

  1. Separate Your Work Life From Your Social Life

One way to separate your personal life from work is by having a work phone. Using a work phone helps you categorize and make that mental switch when need be. Being able to switch to your personal line after work enables you to find the right balance. It also helps increase focus and productivity. 

When you don’t use your personal phone for work, there’s an increased level of security you enjoy. An official phone can help you ooze more professionalism. You can customize special voicemail greetings and instructions. It guarantees authenticity, improves branding, and aids automation. 

Technology, a Tool Not a Driver

The line between personal time and work is fading in the digital space. It is important to create boundaries to help you zone out, rejuvenate, and improve productivity. Else, technology will interrupt your personal life and leave you feeling burned out.

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