In today’s modern society, when you spend the majority of your time awake at work, keeping your private life out of the office might not be that easy. Most of the time, your colleagues are the first people you see when you get up, so it’s hard for them not to notice when something is wrong or extremely good. However, despite the obvious, you should try your hardest to keep your private life private.
It may not be that easy at times and you would probably feel relieved spilling your guts to a friendly face across the desk but try not to. You might seem insensitive and restrained to your colleagues but office drama is something you definitely want to avoid. If you still feel like separating the two is not possible, here are a few tips on how to at least establish and maintain a balance.
It happens to be the case that most people on this planet uses at least one type of social media. It’s simply unavoidable. It also happens to be the case that, by allowing people to follow you, you are giving them access to your personal life and all the things you do when you are not at work.
In order to avoid your colleagues gossiping about how you spend your weekends and asking you tons of personal questions, the best thing you can do is separate your social media to private and professional and never ever let them overlap.
For example, you can use Twitter and LinkedIn to stay connected to your professional side while using Facebook or Instagram to keep tabs on your family and friends. The important thing is to make everyone aware of the arrangement you would like to keep and explain why you won’t accept your colleagues’ friend requests on the networks you use privately.
Establishing boundaries is crucial in order to maintain a healthy relationship with your colleagues. That doesn’t mean you should keep to yourself and say nothing in front of the people you work with, but don’t share too much either. Balancing personal and professional and doing it successfully starts with setting up a few ground rules first.
Each one of us is different, so you can’t expect your colleagues to know which topics are off limits. The first thing you should do is figure out what makes you uncomfortable, like talking about other people from the office or your private time at home. Is it ok for you to introduce your colleagues to your friends and family and invite them to hang out after work? Are you available to accept calls after work hours or during weekends? Are you comfortable discussing things like religion, politics, etc? The sooner you realize where you stand, the sooner you’ll be able to create relationships which benefit everyone.
Make It Work
When you have established the kind of relationship you want to have with your colleagues, it’s time to put things in motion. You will probably feel uncomfortable or guilty the first time you try to communicate your opinions, but be sure, it will all be worth it in the end. Having clear boundaries right from the start helps prevent any misunderstandings you might have in the future.
If you get drawn into a conversation you do not want to participate in, just apologize and say that you’re not comfortable discussing that or you someone asks you a personal question you don’t want to answer, just say that it’s personal. It might get a bit awkward the first couple of times but be sure it won’t happen again. In the end, people will appreciate your honesty more than the fact that you get in the middle of everyone’s business.
Because we spend so much time at work and the fact that our personal and professional lives may never be fully separated suggests that some things are simply out of our control. Even though the two will stay connected, it doesn’t mean they should have a negative impact on each other.
For example, when faced with a messy divorce the best thing you should do is seek professional legal counsel so that your private problems do not jeopardize any of your professional relationships. It’s inevitable to bring home problems from work and vice versa, however, establish rules where you don’t talk work at dinner or during your family time. It’s important to accept that there will be some overlap between your home life and the one at the office but that there are ways it can be brought down to a minimum.
In order to achieve the balance, you must understand that there’s no perfect scenario and that sometimes, even though you did everything right, things may not end up as you might expect. Finding balance takes lots of compromising and as soon as you accept that you’ll be leading a healthy, productive and stress-free life.
Author Bio: My name is Alex Williams. I am a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog.