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Whether you want to separate work and private life depends on your personality

Whether you want to separate work and private life depends on your personality

Your desire to separate work and private life depends on your personalityPhoto by Matteo Pal

Late in the evening, around 10 am, I sent a text message I had written about it to one of my interviewees. I did not expect an immediate response. In fact, she thought she would stop reading it anyway and look at it for later. I shut down my laptop, and my phone was silent.

However, I read it right away. I emailed, called several times and left my voicemail. She looked frightened, I heard an hour later. I didn’t think for a second that she might find it so annoying to receive another email so late.

Tania van der Lepe, professor of sociology at Utrecht University and author of the book, says Where is my time (2021).

Van der Lippe distinguishes two types of people: combined and dashed. Complers do not have a problem with the mixing of different areas of their lives. They can easily switch between all the roles they have and can even enjoy it. Perhaps the interviewee was fragmentary, someone who prefers to separate work and private life. You receive email so it doesn’t go out of memory at night. “ It feels nervous, ” Van der Libby says.

personality test

There is no right or wrong type, but complementary people have an advantage in today’s society, the professor believes. Especially now that working from home is the motto of office workers.

How do you know what your type is? at Where is my time Van der Lippe describes a short, four-question self-test.

1. I hate it when I think about my work at home.
2. I prefer to keep my career at work.
3. I hate it when work issues encroach on my private life.
4. I like to quit my job when I come home.

If you put “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” at least three out of four times, you are split; If you enter “Strongly Agree” or “Disagree” at least three times, you are an integrator.

According to Van der Lippe, it pays to know which type you are. Because then you can take that into account. But it’s also a good idea to know what others – your partner, colleagues, and boss – are like. So, a number of practical advice.

Don’t send out important evening emails

If your supervisor, client, or colleague is a whimper, he probably won’t mind, but late email may not be good with splitters. Maybe the recipient does not sleep well when the mail opens in the evening, Van der Lieb says.

I thought to myself: If you don’t want to read emails, don’t look anyway. But this kite does not apply to many employees. According to Van der Lippe, part of the Dutch work culture will be available outside of business hours and to respond to work emails. More than employees in other European countries, the Dutch are under pressure to respond quickly to messages, including in the evenings and on weekends. This became evident after research carried out by Van der Lepe in 2018, in nine European countries.

Also outside Research Organizational and work psychologist Michel van Latheim, from the University of Amsterdam, showed that Dutch employees feel constant pressure to check and respond to work messages, which is called “remote pressure”. About a third of workers suffer from this. This stress can have negative effects on health. There is a relationship between remote stress, sleep problems and complaints of burnout.

Don’t you know the recipient well? Then the general rule applies: If in doubt, don’t. This email probably waits until the next morning, right?

Depending on your partner and the situation at home: Don’t work often outside of business hours

Do you think it’s a good idea to combine work and private life, but is your partner more of the 9-5 type? In this case, try not to work every Sunday afternoon, even if you want to prepare for the new work week.

Van der Lippe describes in Where is my time That your partner may complain that you are not there for him or her when you work Sundays. And from his point of view, that makes sense.

As a complete one, don’t forget to relax

Even if you don’t mind confusing work and private life, it is recommended that you not be busy with work at all for at least one day a week. Otherwise, you won’t be able to reset and charge properly, said Willem Van Renen, occupational physician at Arbo Unie and professor of enthusiasm and productivity at the University of Nyenrode. Earlier De Volkskrant.

Resetting and charging is different from repair. You can also recover between work, if you put your phone and laptop aside or go to exercise. You need a day to reset and charge.

Make appointments at work

Van der Libby says there are also differences between organizations in what they expect of their employees. For some companies, business is private and business.

“There are also organizations that always expect an immediate response from their employees,” writes Van der Lippe. In some companies it is customary for employees to sit together in an app suite. Sectoralists may experience this as more stressful than consolidators.

Try to make the work situation negotiable. If your work permits, do you want to work only between 9 and 5 o’clock? Or do you not mind replying to emails in the evening? In the latter case, it doesn’t matter if you go to the hairdresser in the afternoon or pick up the kids from school. However?

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