The number of people working from home has increased since the last year, and the recognition of its feasibility has made organizations create projections of retaining this set-up post-pandemic. With this in mind, more people are starting to realize the challenges of working remotely. When the novelty of being able to work at the comforts of your home fades, people start to realize the unique stressors of having to work in the same place where you live; the melding boundaries of personal space and workspace. 

 

Conscientiousness versus Overthinking

Conscientiousness can easily be misconstrued with overthinking. Having the desire to perform a task well is a trait that many motivated and hardworking employees possess; not to mention a trait that employers would often want to see from their employees. However when taken to the extreme, it can lead to compulsive behavior. Worse, this may cause an upset in creating a work-life balance many organizations are striving for. On the other side of the spectrum, people with low levels of conscientiousness tend to lean towards being less goal-oriented, which is usually associated with low productivity at work. 

 

Psychology Behind Work-Life Balance

Organizations aim to promote work-life balance among their employees; and with good reason. A study from Purdue University Krannert School of Management by Ellen Ernst Kossek and her colleagues examining the correlation of work-life balance and wellbeing, organizations that value and support the importance of their employees’ wellbeing tend to have a sustainable and effective workforce.  

Organizations that understand that human resources, specifically an employee’s skills, talents, and energies, can be overused and be depleted. They also understand that burnout is a reality that needs to be managed. When employees are managed sustainably, they are not only naturally inclined to be conscientious but are also motivated to be innovative and creative.

 

Practicing Good Work from Home Habits

According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), physical and emotional damages brought about by burnout from work remain to be one the most prevalent causes of poor mental health and anger management issues. Try to have separate devices for work and leisurely use. Not only would this be a safe way of making sure that your files stay private from your work correspondence or online meetings, but it’s also a good way of keeping your work files safe. Exercising and planning physical activities are also even more important when you’re primarily working at home. Stress relief and staying in shape are just some of their benefits, but most importantly maintaining good physical health is directly correlated to productivity and good mental health. 

While it’s easy to feel more productive working from home given the increased amount of time you can dedicate to doing work-related tasks, following a regular schedule and having enough rest should never be overlooked.

References

Statistics Canada:https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200714/dq200714a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Is Remote Work Making Us Paranoid?:https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/style/is-remote-work-making-us-paranoid.html

Le, H.; Oh, I.S.; Robbins, S.B.; Ilies, R.; Holland, E.; Westrick, P. (2011). Too much of a good thing: curvilinear relationships between personality traits and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96, 113–133.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259145735_The_Sustainable_Workforce_Organizational_Strategies_for_Promoting_Work-Life_Balance_and_Well-Being/link/546350cf0cf2cb7e9da81eff/download

The Associations Between Long Working Hours, Physical Inactivity, and Burnout: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27158959/

American Institute of Stress: http://stress.org/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ronald is a marketing communication specialist and a TEFL certified online educator. He enjoys reading novels and writing as a freelancer. He has an undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication and a master’s degree in Marketing Communication. He has also worked in the academe as a lecturer and consultant in the fields of Marketing and Communication Studies.