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Work-life balance: About time you drew the line in the sand

Mathew J Maniyamkott
29th Aug 2017
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How many of you are guilty of responding to work emails while in the middle of a family dinner? Almost all of us. You check on your client while on vacation too, right? Well, there has been a term introduced to label what we folks suffer from — thanks to a study conducted by Northern Illinois University, it is called telepressure.

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Image: Shutterstock

There wouldn’t be a speck of doubt, when I say that there should be clear boundaries defined between your personal and professional lives. But taking that all-important client call after office hours has become a mandatory routine of our professional lives. And, most often than not, you aren’t compensated for the extra hours put in.

Hence, if you don’t set boundaries and keep giving in to office demands repeatedly, you would stop realizing your value.

Here are the things that you don’t owe your boss:

Spending time with your family

The moment you hide behind excuses -- such as "I'm earning for the family," -- to tend to office work, is the moment you've failed your family. Losing out on important family events, updates and milestones becomes the norm as you are more engrossed in that client pitch than family matters. Your responsibility towards your employer is limited to the office gates, and thereafter it is family responsibility which must take over.

Never pawn your integrity

No matter how much you are paid to do your job, you should never let go of certain principles. Since, credibility once lost, can take a lifetime to reclaim. When your principles are in jeopardy, it will reflect on your stress levels and there is nothing greater than peace of mind. If your company’s management is not a stickler to performing things legally, i.e. exploiting loopholes to further their business prospects, then you might want to rethink your stay in such an enterprise.

You don’t owe them your health

If your monthly quota or deadlines come in the way of your health, there is no way any career prospect will get your foot out of the grave. If your employer doesn’t understand the gravity of your situation then rid yourself of such a toxic environment.

Access to all your contacts

It took you years to make business acquaintances and your bosses aren’t entitled to be introduced without your discretion. I understand that this is a sticky situation to deal with, but set limits on what you are willing to share. You don’t want to lose your contact’s trust even if it is from as simple as making an introduction.

Respect and loyalty is a two-way street

My dad has worked with his current company for more than 40 years now and it has been his only employer his entire life. Such levels of loyalty would be unheard of in our generation and the fault lies on both ends. But remember that if you’ve stuck to your end of the bargain, then there is no reason for you to take flak from the employer.

The Tech Mahindra firing incident is one good example, where you find an unapologetic and apathetic HR showing absolutely no remorse for an employee’s termination. They have to gain your loyalty and trust as much as you want to gain theirs.

There should always be boundaries between your personal life and your job. Work out a plan where you keep the folks at home and office both happy while not sacrificing anything.

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