Cranfield School of Management moved to online and home working as the corona virus ended our face to face teaching and client meetings.
Whilst many of us work from home some of the time, this total home working is a new situation for us, as for so many of our clients. At the end of our first virtual All School meeting our Director, Prof David Oglethorpe, asked staff to remember that even if we can’t travel on holiday many of us have time booked off and should make sure we give ourselves time to rest as well as work. This is advice many leaders are giving their staff, but it seems extremely difficult for many of us to practice in normal times let alone when we are at home all the time. Even as we ease out of lockdown, many of us will continue to work from home much, much more that we did only 4 months ago.
At Cranfield we have researched the experiences of people in jobs which do not fit into a traditional working day, and whose lives have become even more difficult to divide into work and non-work spaces as global working and digitalisation have meant 365/24/7 business, and immediate responses are demanded. How does our learning from this research offer insights for the new total home working that has been imposed on so many of us? Can we really separate work and non-work when we are on screens and on different digital platforms from our homes?
This short paper addresses one aspect of home working: creating boundaries that enable us to make some separation between work and non-work life. It does not address many other concerns such as social isolation, which are also important but outside the scope of this paper.
About the Author
A Chartered Psychologist, Kim Turnbull James is Professor of Leadership and Executive Learning at Cranfield School of Management. Kim researches new leadership paradigms that enable organisations to respond to complexity, work with adaptive challenges, and create the capacity for rethinking leadership practices. Her work includes the political and emotional dynamics that impact strategic change, drawing on systems psychodynamic thinking. Kim designs and delivers innovative leadership development interventions, including leadership programmes, coaching and team consulting, focused on learning embedded in real organisational problems. Her wide range of clients enables her to gain insight into many different organisations, cultures and working practices.