5 practical ways to separate work from the rest of your life

Working on a train

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We live in an always-on world where it feels like everyone is contactable all the time. Add in the shift to hybrid and flexible working, and it can be tough to know when work ends and your social life begins.

Also: Hybrid work is in trouble. Here are 4 ways to make it work in the longer term

Here, five business leaders provide five best-practice ways to divorce work from the rest of your life.

1. Find the right balance

Sasha Jory, CIO at Hastings Direct, says success is all about finding a cadence. “Being a working mum who’s worked my whole career with young children, I got into a rhythm,” she says. “I’d be in the office at 7 a.m. and I’d leave at four o’clock. I would work my 9 or 10 hours solid and then I would go home.”

Also: Everything you need for commuting to work

Jory, who spoke with ZDNET at the London leg of Snowflake’s Data Cloud World Tour, says the train journey home was a great turning-off point.

“I could finish the last bits of work on email and, when I got off the train, I could dedicate my time to my kids.” Jory said. She recognizes it’s slightly harder to maintain that cadence as you move up the career ladder, particularly if you’re in a C-suite role. “But I always try and be in the moment,” she says. 

“So, if you’re having lunch with your kids, then try and be with them in that moment. If there’s a crisis or an incident, explain to them what’s going on, and they’ll be understanding.” Jory added. 

Jory also invests time in her friends and health, including being passionate about sports.

In short, she says the key to success is finding the right balance: “I say to my team all the time, ‘The good news is that this problem will still be here tomorrow.'”

2. Try and be flexible

Lily Haake, head of technology and digital executive search at recruiter Harvey Nash, says the challenge of splitting work and home life is more accurate in the post-COVID age.

“It’s a question we’ve reflected on since work has gone hybrid,” she says, recognizing that many people often use the commute to ease from work into home life. “It’s not a bad way of doing it — you can decompress. If you’re on a train, there’s time to unwind a little bit.”

Also: Is Gen Z the freelance generation? The workforce appears to turn to self-employment

However, if you’re only in the office one or two days a week, it can be hard to divorce work from life, Haake said to…