Work-life balance: Building Boundaries in Academia - Wholesome Life Journal

Work-life balance: Building Boundaries in Academia

20Can you separate your work life from your home life? Is it possible to have a work-life balance, especially as a researcher? From my experience, the answer is yes, but it can get difficult. Undoubtedly, you will go home and think about work. There is no way around it. And you will probably think about your family/home life while you’re at bench or in your office. A bad day at work might follow you home, and an argument with your spouse might follow you to the office.

Integrating your work life and home life is important, and a good way to separate the two is to have healthy boundaries. It’s been my experience that if you don’t have boundaries with your co-workers, your employee relationship will turn into a friendship. What’s wrong with that? Nothing at all! Except that with friendship comes conflict, misunderstandings, and possibly hurt feelings. This can cause tension in the workplace, and can hurt your productivity. Eek.

How am I forming healthy boundaries?

1. Email first, text second, and call third.

love email. I think that it’s a perfect way to communicate, and to have a professional relationship with someone. If it’s work-related, if you need to change a meeting, if you want to work on a manuscript together, I believe in emailing. The benefit of email is that you will always have a paper trail, just in case anything needs to be documented. If it’s more time-sensitive, then texting is fine. In general, you should restrict texting to friends/family, except if you need to urgently communicate something work-related. Finally, calling is only in the case of a die-hard emergency. I would not call my boss/co-worker to chat and gossip, and do not foresee a scenario where calling is okay unless it is a very serious matter. (Read More)

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