“You’re playing the long game here,” Ms. Green said. “It is one thing to work in the evening for a few weeks or months, but it is not long term. You want to manage your career with an eye that you can keep. “
Where to draw lines
In the first months of the epidemic, Ms. Green said she has struggled with many people for different work lives and personal lives for the same reason: Everyone at work knows you have nowhere else to go. While you can implement the previous commit before quarantine, that “out” is off the table.
Solution, according to Ms. Green? “Just start putting boundaries.”
“In many situations you don’t really need to ask for permission,” she said. “People feel like this is a change, and sometimes it is true, but the way people often feel that you can do it.”
This may mean that your phone or email is not being answered after your workday ends, or that Slack is not attached to the message while taking a 15-minute mental health holiday. But often, Ms. Green said, “When people just start pushing those boundaries out for themselves, they realize that it’s okay. Nothing happens, no one notices.”
Of course, this does not work for every job or company, so if you are nervous about making those boundaries, negotiate with your manager, Ms. Green said. Let them know that you want to create a schedule that is sustainable – and healthy. And even if you bump up against resistance in that conversation, at least you had the point. “Now that we’ve come to the surface what the expectations are, I can decide, ‘Do I really want these jobs under me?”
Also realize, Ms. Hurts said, that the identity you want to use will not always coincide with your colleagues.