Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/927951

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Page 45 of 51

44 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N W i n t e r 2 0 1 8 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Explore new ways of working Many companies, like Shirley's, are willing to discuss alternative working arrange- ments like telecommuting, a part-time schedule, or job sharing. New research by WorldatWork and FlexJobs showed that 80 percent of companies surveyed offer flexible work arrangements—although not all have a written policy—and 67 percent of managers offer flexibility to all or most of their employees. When negotiating a flexible schedule, share the benefits with your employer, including being able to work when you're most fresh and focused. Detail how you'll maintain communication with your col- leagues, and offer to try your new sched- ule on a trial basis, to ensure that every- one is happy. Draw clear boundaries Regardless of work schedule, make ef- forts to safeguard your personal time. "One indicator that work is becoming all-consuming is that you stop doing the things that you enjoy," says Nicole Coope, MSC, LMHC, NCC, founder and owner of Crossroad Coaching Services. "You're not mak- ing it to the gym or family events, or you're canceling on your girls' night out." Coope suggests being aware of people who don't respect your boundaries. "For every reason that you say, 'I can't work until 6 p.m.,' they've got solutions: 'Well, call a babysitter' or 'Ask your mom [to baby- sit],'" she says. "ey come up with reasons for why your 'no' is not sufficient. ey're putting you in de- fense mode, and that's a subtle way of finding your- self unable to disconnect." Coope suggests thinking of colleagues as circles in a target. "Some- one who is supportive is right there in the bull's-eye," she says. "You can say to them, 'I can't stay late because I'm going to my daughter's play,' and you can share that joy. ose who demonstrate that they don't care or don't listen are further from this bull's-eye, so minimize what you share. If they say, 'Can you work until 6 p.m.?,' just say 'no,' so they don't get an opportunity to refute your no." Learn to detach You may occasionally need to work after hours or on a weekend, but try to set per- sonal rules for using email, cell phones, and laptops at home. Research shows that checking work emails outside of normal work- ing hours can impact your stress level and behavior at home, lead to emotional exhaustion, and cause job burnout. (In 2017, French citizens in companies with more than 50 employees earned the legal right to ig- nore after-hours emails.) Let your colleagues know when and how you'd like to communicate. You might also tell your manager that research ISTOCKPHOTO Research shows that checking work emails outside of normal working hours can impact your stress level and behavior at home, lead to emotional exhaustion, and cause job burnout. Baby Bonding Time Of the 193 countries comprising the United Nations, the United States is the only high- income country that doesn't offer national paid parental leave. The only other coun- tries not offering paid parental leave are New Guinea, Suriname, and a few South Pacific Island nations. shows that employees who unwind after working hours are more engaged at work and are better at problemsolving. Be present When you're not at work, focus on qual- ity time. "Women sometimes tell them- selves, 'I didn't have time this week to focus on myself,' says Belinda MJ Brown, an international speaker and ICF-accredited coach with Equanimity Executive LLC. "Most steps take a cou- ple of minutes. It's about your mind-set and the stories you're telling yourself." Engaging in a hobby or mastering a new skill can be especially helpful in recover- ing from work stress. While spending time with friends and family, avoid multitasking. While enjoy- ing dinner with your spouse or watching a baseball game with your child, put your phone away and give him or her your full attention. Disconnecting isn't always easy, but it can pay off, as it did for Hajar Shirley. "My kids love when I'm balanced and present," she says. "And my husband is just proud: 'Yeah, that's my wife!' I'm constantly assessing, 'Am I feeling ex- hausted?' Now I have the awareness." DW DW Life >

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