Tools to Balance the Blurred Work/Life Line

Do you feel like your personal time is being encroached on by your work? With the increase in mobile technology, the separation between work and home has become even less distinct.

In a recent article (May 14, 2013) by Mark Milian in Bloomberg entitled, Thanks, IPhone: Demise of the Desk Phone Means No End to the Workday, he states, “for years, the line between our work and personal lives has been blurred by technology — think back to pagers, car phones, and those early, bulky laptops that allowed us to work from home for the first time. The demise of the desk phone further erases that separation, and the trend toward fewer communication devices will likely continue. In the next three years, there will be more people using a single phone for both their work and personal lives than those who maintain a dedicated personal phone, according to research firm IDC.”

This article continues reporting that “as desk phones decline and boundaries between the office and home disappear, workers will need to be disciplined in setting limits, said Brian Chen, the author of ‘Always On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future — and Locked Us In.’ While young professionals tend to handle the balancing act seamlessly, older workers with families and other responsibilities are having trouble adjusting, he said.”

Smart phone devices and job expectations are causing us to have to juggle constant connectivity.

Juggling work and personal time can be difficult.

Juggling work and personal time can be difficult.

While we are trying to balance work and personal commitments, there are several ways that your virtual phone system can help you control the boundaries between work and home.

  • You can use smart rules to route calls away from your personal phone when you are “off.” Calls can be directed to voicemail or to a live receptionist, depending on your needs. Even if you are not available for calls, you still have instant access to messages in case of emergency.
  • You can keep your cell phone number private. Using your virtual phone system, you can direct calls to your cell phone without revealing the number with “find me, follow me” features. This separation can help reduce disruptions in your personal life by limiting access to your cell phone.
  • Let routing and roll-over to co-workers work for you to keep your sanity. By establishing hunt groups in your phone system, your team members can handle calls.

Even as the distinctions between our professional and personal lives continue to become more intertwined, there are tools that you can use to keep your sanity and set boundaries. These tools can be completely customized to fit your needs and can be utilized as your schedule changes. While the likelihood of completely disconnecting from the office is a phenomena of the past, you can manage your connectivity and balance life!