by Jay Joseph ‘22
The digital age brought the workplace home, first through phone calls, then through emails, and finally through instant messaging. Workers and students alike found themselves increasing the time spent at work to gain accomplishments they could pride themselves in. As the workplace moved online during the pandemic, the boundaries between work and life became even more blurred as people’s bedrooms became their offices and classrooms. The isolation and stress of the pandemic only exacerbated the situation, and many found themselves burnt-out: mentally exhausted due to overwork. An unbalanced work-life balance reduces productivity and decreases one’s overall satisfaction with life. As a result, people must find ways to ignore work for at least a few hours each day to maintain a healthy work routine.
A major factor in the work-life balance is how often people check their devices which connect them to both their workplace and friends. A study conducted by RescueTime, a software company, on its users found that people check their email and instant messaging every six minutes on average. The company also found that 40 percent of people use their computers past 10 PM, reducing sleep quality and further contributing to stress. While unplugging from devices is not a complete solution to the work culture of constant productivity, doing so daily is a significant step in the right direction, especially during the pandemic.