I can’t count the number of my coaching clients who have mentioned that they regularly bring home some work that just doesn’t get finished at the office.
Here’s my take on the upside and downside of bringing work home.
The upside includes;
- Having some non -interrupted, dedicated time to finish off important projects
- A sense of accomplishment
- A reminder to your colleagues that when the going gets tough, you are always there to pick up the pieces and go the extra mile and deliver
The downside includes;
- Intruding on family time at home during “non-work” hours with potential for long term eroding of personal relationships
- Inability to set boundaries for yourself between work and non- work space and time, leading to potential lack of sleep and less resting time for you
- Setting the expectation and example that this is the norm and you expect others to do the same
Just the beginning of both lists, but you get the picture.
Through the coaching conversations with some of these folks, it became clear to both of us that they were creating a pretty deep hole that was harder and harder to dig out of. And the pattern was takings its toll. Exhaustion, frustration, resentment, setting unrealistic expectations of others, marriages suffering, not enough sleep, poor health. The list was pretty long.
I’m not saying to never bring work home. We’ve all done it and will likely continue to do so.
Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself and that you might find helpful:
- How often do I bring work home?
- How many hours a week do I spend on work brought home after hours?
- What are the risks of cutting back my “working at night” hours?
- What’s at risk if I don’t cut back?
- What is the #1 reason I bring work home?
- How could I potentially plan differently?
The more we are aware of the causes and effects of our actions… the better our choices will be!