A Tip for Navigating the Ups and Downs of WFH.... and Leadership

Do you feel like WFH is getting harder, not easier?You’re not alone. I’m feeling it. My coaching clients are feeling it. It’s hard to keep up productivity, stay engaged AND deal with ongoing distractions in and outside of our homes. Especially when there’s no end in sight for mandatory WFH.This morning I read an HBR article [link:] that gave me an unexpected sense of relief. It helped me put words to something that I hadn’t been able to articulate before and gave me some ideas on how to switch things up. I’ll take it!To summarize the article, when it comes to working from home, there are two stylistic preferences — integration and segmentation. Think of this as a spectrum. Each one of us has a natural tendency to lean into one side over the other. "Integrators tend to blur work and personal boundaries. Segmentors, on the other hand, strive to preserve clear ones."Here are some key differences and why recognizing them can help:INTEGRATORS*You pay bills, take personal calls, or workout during office hours.*You have a pretty easy time transitioning to different roles between work and home.*If you share living space with someone, you are comfortable with your home office being somewhere central, like the kitchen or dining room.*You experience regular distractions and interruptions.SEGMENTORS*You focus on work stuff during work hours and on personal stuff after hours. *You prefer a physical barrier between work and home, like a room with a door.*It’s easy for you to focus deeply on whatever task is a priority, because you preserve a sharper boundary between work and home.*Intrusions from your family/pet/roommate are especially distracting for you when you’re in the middle of a zoom meeting. Ok. So I am totally an integrator. And since I’ve been in a bit of a productivity rut, I’m going to start playing around with segmentor strategies (like not working from the kitchen table). I mean, I’m down to try just about anything to break up the monotony of the daily grind. Another benefit of recognizing integrator and segmentor tendencies is it can help you understand how other people think about personal boundaries. This includes people you live with, team members, managers, and direct reports. Building awareness around different styles can help with communication, collaboration, and your overall sanity. *Are you more of a segmentor or integrator? *What about the people you work or live with? *How might this inform what you personally need to stay motivated and/or what you need to ask for from those around you?Our preferences, styles, strengths, and challenges are unique. And that can be easy to forget. Understanding what works for us (and what doesn't) is useful. So is stepping outside of our comfort zones. The same is true of leadership.Just like WFH, what works for you in terms of being a compelling leader, is up to you to discover and amplify. Recognizing your own personal best practices (as opposed to trying to fit into somebody else’s) will make your professional journey SO MUCH EASIER. Truly. This is one of those lessons I wish I took to heart earlier in my career. This is why @aliciajabbar and I created a new virtual leadership program called The Rebellious Leader. It's all about discovering and grounding in what works for YOU so you can navigate your career with less self-doubt and a whole lot more ease. Our next Rebellious Leader program starts on August 12th. Join me, Alicia, and a small group of committed women at Inside Out Incubator for a weekly dose of discovery around personal best practices... and relief from the daily grind. You can find out more here [] or via the hyperlink in this post.
Interesting! I'm definitely an integrator and have many blurred lines between work and home, though I am trying to be a little bit more intentional about the physical space of where I do work (living room) and where I don't (bedroom). Thanks for sharing the article!
Good for you! Glad you found it interesting. If nothing else, I found it useful to recognize that, as an integrator, I blur lines all the time - and that's not necessarily a bad thing - it's just my habit (which I hadn't necessarily recognized before).
Very timely article and completely agree that it helped me better identify my needs. Thanks for sharing!
Most welcome @erickadean! Glad it was useful.
I think it’s interesting how blurred lines especially for integrators are not only time bound but spacial as well. As someone who is currently wfh this helps me think about the different dimensions of boundaries I need to have in place in more concrete terms!
Right, @kateschiffman!? That spacial dimension gave me a whole new window to look through.