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#WFH What Are Time Vampires?

Authentic productivity requires you to create an environment that supports you. No one is productive and creative 24/7/365. Research supports the need for a
work/life balance. Creating a balanced lifestyle is about using technologies wisely. The boundaries of the workplace and workday are gone. Researchers have found that workers whose sense of self-worth and identity are closely linked to work are more likely to use technologies to stay constantly connected (Steinfield, Ellison, & Lampe, 2008). In the virtual workplace, you are free to create your own day for the most part but you still feel the pressure to be available, all the time. You may fear that if you are not always connected you will fall behind in your career, or not do a good enough job. These kinds of fears will drive you to stay connected and reconnect but maybe not for the right reasons.

Creating your own day means more than the freedom to go to the store when you want to. It also means freedom from guilt, fear and compulsion. In order to have the freedom to create an environment you want, you have to be honest and have a conversation with yourself and with your boss about what is expected and when. This is critical to working effectively in a virtual environment that spans time zones, countries and crosses continents. Even if you are in the same city, just because you can reach someone with a late night text doesn’t mean you should.
If expectations are not spelled out and critical conversations discussed, then the way communication is handled is left pretty much up to the individual. Which is OK, if you are healthy, well-balanced and normal, whatever that might be. Most of us have issues of some variety or at least we know someone who does! We are all influenced to some degree by the media, the culture and society we live in and the folks we grew up around.

The idea of a work-life balance becomes even more critical when days are extended by the constant connection. Although in most cases you have the freedom to create your own work-life balance, agreed-upon expectations about when you are connected and when you need to respond help to alleviate anxiety and stress. The conversation of balance is one that needs to be addressed both by the individual and management. When an email comes in at 10 p.m., it is unreasonable to expect a reply by 9 a.m. the next day.

Connectivity is emotionally persuasive. It makes us feel important and special. Over 50 percent of us reported making our smartphones to bed with us, 84 percent of respondents to a Time magazine survey said that they could not go a single day without their cellphones and 20 percent of respondents check their phone every 10 minutes
(Gilbert, 2012). With over a billion smartphones out there, a number expected to increase to more than 4.4 billion by 2017, we have plenty of people to connect with. This connectivity gives us apparent power to choose but unless you stay aware and in charge of what you are doing it is quite possible to be very busy, yet very unproductive. It is also possible to convince yourself you are so busy, it is not your fault that what needs to be getting done isn’t.

#WFH, #RemoteWorkplace, #RemoteWorker, #WorkFromHome, #BobbeGB, #BobbeBaggio, #ThePajamaEffect, #Touchpoints, #Virtual Workplace, #Virtual Worker #PJEffect

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