I frequently work from home, as does my husband, and it’s been a process of trial and error to figure out how to do that well. I wish I’d read this piece from 99U on work/life separation:
Emotional traffic through that door moves in both directions: good news in one arena can lead to positive effects in the other, and vice versa. Unfortunately, this is true for negative scenarios too. Rather than pretending we live in a tidy world with a clean separation between work and play, it’s more productive to acknowledge reality: life is complicated.
Consider the complex web of work and family influences uncovered by European psychologists in a paper published this summer. By studying diaries kept by over 150 employees at 25 Spanish organizations, the researchers led by Ana Sanz-Vergel documented what they described as a “negative spiral” – it started with a clash of priorities between work and home (for example, a mix-up over who was dropping the kids at school), this was followed by an increased risk of arguments with colleagues at work, and this strife at work then fed back and increased domestic friction in the home. We often think of our lives as having separate domains, but this research shows that when there’s a clash of demands from our different responsibilities, the fall out spreads far and wide like a common cold.