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The Stress and Health Risks of Taking Work Home with You

Stressed woman working from home
August 27, 2019

The idea that work should remain in the office and that your home life should revolve around personal and family time is an excellent one. However, this is often easier said than done because modern technology enables workers to stay connected to work email and office communications every day and at all hours of the day. Work-related stress and burnout is often the result of taking work home with you because of this lack of balance leaves workers feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and constantly consumed by work.

Here is some information about the stress and health risks of taking work home with you and how to destress after work for greater overall productivity and happiness.

Why Taking Work Home with You Is a Bad Idea

When you have too much work on your plate and can’t seem to get ahead, taking work home with you may sound like the most logical solution. This could mean drafting documents before bedtime, checking emails in bed, or answering work phone calls during dinner.

When you do this, you are bringing your work-related stress home and causing stress among your family and friends. Your mental focus is reduced after working too many hours in a day, it can damage your personal relationships, and it may make you have a less productive next day at work because you’re exhausted and mentally drained.

How Stress Affects Work Productivity

Stress and health are deeply connected, and employees who bring work home are continually more stressed out than employees who leave work where it belongs. Work-related stress affects your sleep quality, which makes you more tired throughout the work day and unable to complete tasks quickly or with attention to detail. Bringing work home also does not allow you to mentally recover from a long day, which can lead to resentment, depression, hopelessness, and apathy in the workplace over time.

How to Destress After Work

For all of these reasons, it is important to leave work at a reasonable time and transition from your work life to your personal life once you leave the office. This transition can be very difficult on stressful work days because it’s hard to get into a more relaxed state of mind when you’re still worked up from the day’s events.

Exercising after work is a great way to transition from work mode to home mode because it blows off steam in a positive and healthy way. You can also go for a walk around the neighborhood, cook dinner, go shopping, read a book, or watch funny videos on YouTube. Establish a post-work ritual that works for you and that helps your mind relax. This could be as simple as listening to a favorite podcast on your commute home from the office, changing out of your work clothes into something more comfortable as soon as you get home, or playing with the family dog in the backyard.

More Tips for How to Relax After Work

Another way to relax after work and put the workday behind you is to turn off push notifications for work emails or only allow yourself to check your work email once or twice per evening. Bosses can make a positive example by not emailing their employees after work hours, or at least noting in late emails that employees don’t need to reply until the morning. These practices can help employees recuperate after stressful days and have greater productivity the next day.

At NYC Office Suites, we love helping employees and bosses become more productive and happier in the workplace. Contact us to learn more about how flexible office space, on-demand meeting rooms, and virtual office solutions can help your team achieve better work-life balance and satisfaction on the job.

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