In the “good old days” of the construction industry workers could keep their noses to the grindstone all the live long day until the whistle for day’s end sounded. Ace Construction Texas remembers those days fondly. Workers could punch their timecard, go home for a hot shower and meal, and watch a little T.V. to relax before falling asleep in anticipation of repeating the workday tomorrow.
Not anymore. Construction workers today arrive on a job site, sign into their employment app on their smartphone, work all day alongside technology-enhanced machinery, get a text when it’s break or lunch time, check emails for company notices, sign out of the job app when the end of day alarm on their phone goes off, and then head home and pray they don’t get an “emergency” alert on their phone while eating, showering, or sleeping.
It’s as hard for construction workers to unplug from the job as it is for anyone in the modern workforce. We’re going to provide some ideas to unplug for a change of pace after the workday ends.
Turn The Tables On Technology
Workers can turn the tables on technology that keeps them connected to work. It’s something that can be done with a little finesse and a solid commitment. Work and personal time need to be separate for workers to have a quality life balance. There’s nothing wrong with loving your work, but it’s not healthy long term to let work encroach into your personal time.
One way to get control of our time is to use a calendar to separate these two important areas of your life. Make sure your calendar has work hours, meetings, future plans, and anything else work related documented on the calendar. At the same time, all important events and plans in your personal life should also be on your calendar. The key is to not let the work calendar push itself onto your personal calendar. Maintain the separation.
‘Critical’ Issues Aren’t Always Critical
Every worker in today’s workforce has experienced that moment when you get settled in after a long workday and your smartphone buzzes. The final modifications of the job site plans need a “few tweaks,” according to your colleague. And, there’s always the “it will only take a few minutes” ploy. How good is your project communication? How do you respond? Do you put down your favorite beverage and fix the plans?
Your response is keeping “critical” from affecting your personal time and space. Unless you’re the on-call person related to the job site, a few tweaks to any work project should be able to wait until the next day. Turn the buzzer off and let the smartphone join you in taking a break from work. Any level of quick response to such urgent requests puts you in a position where others think they can get you to work anytime of the day. Ignore the buzzer until an appropriate time and people begin to respect you work-life balance. If you’re not scheduled to be on call and there’s no real fire at work, resolve the issue on your next workday.
Enjoy Your Time Away From Work
Whether you spend time with family or pick up a hobby that forces you to unplug, make sure your free time is under your control. It’s important to enjoy your time away from work – it’s a balanced plan of action that contributes to your personal health and your success at work.
Unplug and enjoy the world in you own way.