Rick Alexander-The thin line between life and work

The thin line between life and work


The last time I published a blog, it was on Friday the 13th of March and it was about Friday the 13th. That day seemed to be the tipping point for the coronavirus crisis. That afternoon, our corporate office announced our work-from-home initiative and it sounded so ominous at the time. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about working at home, but so far, so good! Many of our colleagues at our station and other stations have now been originating their shows remotely from their home studio, but the type of show we do daily; live, local and very intense, requires that we do it at the MIX95.1 main studio every day. But immediately after, we head home to prepare our next show and finish the rest of our daily work .


With all of this working at home, I think it is more important than ever that we separate work life from home life. In the past, we’ve largely achieved this distancing between our work  and home lives by our commute and our dress. Some people have one-way commutes of an hour or more! I’ve been fortunate. I have not had a drive to work longer than 15 minutes for most of my working life. But that has always been long enough for me to distance my work from home. Most of us separate our work from home life by what we wear. When we get home, many of us immediately ditch our work garb: the uniform, scrubs, dress clothes, boots or heels for sweats, jeans, shorts, tee-shirts and flip-flops.


The change of clothes really doesn’t necessarily have to be that dramatic to be effective. My grandfather, who I’ve written about in a past blog and who was a professional engineer, wore a suit and white shirt every day of his life. EVERY DAY! But yet, when he’d come home from work, he’d hang up his suit jacket, take off his tie, roll up his shirt sleeves and trade his dress shoes for slippers. That is how he separated work from home. It was all the separation he needed


Some of us separate work from home by our routines. We may hit the gym, run errands, pick up  the kids or dinner. About twenty or more years ago, the separation between work and home started to shrink. It all began with email, then spread to cell phones and texting. Instant messaging, Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting and now the popularization of Zoom has blurred the thin line between life and work. It doesn’t help  matters that most every resource we need is now available virtually. Think Google’s G Suite.


During  this coronavirus, We’ve all heard many tales of people’s new, temporary work-at-home paradigm. Folks not showering or shaving, people working in their pajamas or without any pants at all. We’re fortunate to have all this advanced technology to keep some sense of production during this stressful time. But to paraphrase Seinfeld’s George Constanza, if “work” George continues to collide with “home” George ,”home” George will cease to exist.  And we desperately need them both!



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