Work life, personal life, how do you draw the line?

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The transition to teleworking is not an obvious thing for everyone. Indeed, it can be destabilising, and it can even be difficult to separate one's professional life from one's personal life. In order to cope with this, some employees double up on their devices, thus distinguishing between professional and personal tools. However, there are other more practical and cost-effective methods and tools that allow you to draw the line between work and personal life.

The right to disconnect

Since teleworking has been adopted by a large number of employees, many workers have found themselves having to adapt to this new way of working remotely. While some of them manage without any problems, others find it more difficult to adapt. The latter generally find it more difficult to draw a line between their professional and personal lives. They feel obliged to be available online all the time, and in some cases, it is even required by employers.

If you find yourself in this situation, then you should read the Right to disconnect. This right consists of authorising any employee not to be permanently contactable by his or her employer outside working hours for reasons related to the performance of his or her work.

This Right to Disconnect was introduced by the so-called "Labour Law" of 08 August 2016. It was then applied from 1 January 2017. Among its objectives, this right ensures that holidays and rest periods are respected. It also guarantees a good balance between professional and personal life. Finally, the Right to Disconnect protects employees' health.

However, in order to benefit from this right, the terms and conditions for exercising it must be laid down by the company. Indeed, these procedures are not defined in the Labour Code. They must therefore be determined at company level, through an agreement between the employer and the employees. This agreement can be reached during the annual negotiations on the implementation of measures to regulate the use of digital tools and on the quality of life at work.

In companies with several trade union sections of representative organisations (generally companies with more than 50 employees) this negotiation should ideally take place annually. However, it can take place at least once every four years, if the employer and employees have concluded a collective agreement on the frequency of compulsory negotiations.

In companies with more than 11 employees, if no agreement is negotiated or reached, then the employer proceeds to draw up a "charter" defining the terms and conditions for exercising the right to disconnect, after consulting the economic and social committee. This charter provides, for example, for the implementation of awareness-raising and training in the reasonable use of digital tools for both management and employees.

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The tools

But to feel comfortable working from homeYou must not only rely on your right to disconnect: you must organise yourself, and use a working method It is important to create a boundary between your professional and personal life, so that you can feel good while remaining efficient in your tasks. Above all, it is important that you manage to draw a line between your professional and personal life.

Fortunately, there are now several practical and easily accessible tools that help you to have a healthier working life at home. Some of the best known and most effective are Google Focus, Android Profiles and the Focus function in the latest iOS 15 update.

Google Focus

For Android 9 and 10 users, Google offers its Focus modeThis mode pauses applications to block them from opening, and also prevents notifications from appearing that might disturb or distract you. This mode "pauses" applications to block them from opening, and also to prevent the display of notifications that might disturb or distract you.

Google's Focus Mode is one of the many services classified as "Wellness". Among its services, it provides timers for applications and sites so that you can better manage your schedule. Focus also allows you to turn off some or all of the different forms of notifications, temporarily disable your work profile, and finally its "Wind down" mode if you don't want to be disturbed.

The Google Focus tool offers other additional features, such as automatic triggering according to the user's schedule, time scheduling, and the option to disable for 5, 15 or 30 minutes.
Google Focus application

Android Profiles

On your Android device, you can set up a business profile to set up a boundary between applications, business data from applications and personal data. To do this, this tool will store your work profile on a separate part of your device. This way, your personal tasks will remain private, and will not be affected by your professional tasks.

You can ask an IT support person to help you manage your work profile. Rest assured, this person does not have access to your personal email or applications, let alone your personal data. He or she will only manage the tools and elements related to your professional tasks (professional email, work-related applications, professional data, etc.).

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Profiles function on Android

iOS 15

In its iOS 15 update, Apple offers new features for better focusing, exploring, keeping in touch, and other services that could be very useful for telecommuting.

With this update, your FaceTime calls will become much more natural. These calls are no longer limited to Apple devices, as you can now create a link from your Apple device (iPad, iPhone or Mac), and share your call with a Windows or Android device via third-party applications.

You'll especially appreciate the tools that help you focus and limit distractions. Indeed, iOS 15 offers the "Focus" feature that filters apps and notifications based on what you consider important.

iOS 15: here's how Focus mode works -
Focus application on iOS 15

The environment

Now that you have the tools to fostering creativity and concentration, you should now think about setting up a working environment that will allow you to be comfortable teleworking.

To set up a boundary between work and personal life, start by organise your workspace so that it is isolated from the rest of the house. For example, you can set up your office in a room where there is no view of possible distractions. If this is not possible, delimit your work space with furniture, partitions, etc.

The boundary between professional and personal life is therefore not just psychological, but also physical. For example, you can use your PC exclusively for work, and reserve your laptop or tablet for relaxation. You can even accentuate this boundary by using concentration-friendly equipment for your work tasks, such as a bamboo keyboard and mouse for example. It is well known that wood promotes attention, creativity, concentration, learning and productivity.

Finally, set yourself a fixed and precise working time and make sure you stick to it every day as much as possible. By following these tips, you will be able to thrive in teleworking. You will be more efficient in your work tasks and you will be able to distinguish your personal life from your professional life.

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