I have a confession. Or perhaps it's a humble-brag depending on your perspective: I'm writing this column while on vacation abroad.
The latest research suggests that taking my work with me, as many of us do when we travel or just leave the office, probably isn't the best thing for my well-being, so perhaps it is more of a confession.
A new study in Springer's Journal of Business and Psychology finds that blurring the lines between work and personal life can lead to exhaustion and just generally feeling out of balance.
"Employees who integrated work into their non-work life reported being more Exhausted because they recovered less," explained Ariane Wepfer from the University of Zurich, who led the research. "This lack of recovery activities furthermore explains why people who integrate their work into the rest of their lives have a lower sense of well-being."
The study involved 1,916 employees in German-speaking countries with an average age of 42. Half of the participants work 40 hours or more per week and nearly 56 percent were men. They were asked questions about boundaries between work and the rest of their lives, including time spent socializing, playing sports and pursuing other hobbies.
The researchers discovered that a clear separation between work and off time was important to participate in activities that allow for relaxation and recharging. She also thinks that companies should have policies to help employees establish a solid work-life balance.
"Organizational policy and culture should be adjusted to help employees manage their work-non-work boundaries in a way that does not impair their well-being," says Wepfer. "After all, impaired well-being goes hand in hand with reduced productivity and reduced creativity."
So then what to do about my own working from paradise conundrum at the moment?
First off, I'm not about to complain about my situation. But just as soon as I finish proofreading and publishing this column, you can be sure that I'm going to take a break, put away my laptop and go seek out a drink. I'll even put my phone in airplane made to really draw a clear boundary.
Enjoy your down time.