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“Don’t you like your home?”

“𝘿𝙤𝙣'𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙚? »

Taken aback, I look up 👀 from my screen to look at my manager who has just asked me this question. It's 8:30 p.m., we're the last two in the office and he's standing in front of me with his coat on his back and his bag in his hand. I understand that this is his way of telling me to go home and it makes me angry because I believe that if I am still here, it is because once again I am overloaded with work 📋📋📋 .

It took me years to understand that what he was trying to tell me that night was that he didn't expect me to spend my life in the office.

Important clarification: this manager was German. Indeed, I have learned over time that, if evenings at work and extended hours are considered a sign of strong commitment in France, in other countries where we talk much more about work / life balance than here, they are considered a sign that the employee is poorly organized.

“🆆🅾🆁🅺 🆂🅼🅰🆁🆃, 🅽🅾🆃 🅷🅰🆁🅳” is also a phrase that we often hear in these countries. Just like the expression work life balance.

It took me a few more years but I also came to understand that working late every night is neither normal nor desirable nor good for my health or my family life. This is also not what my managers expected of me. They had simply gotten used to seeing me do it and ended up concluding that it suited me (some more eagerly than others, it must be said 😊).

I also had to question myself: if it wasn't my managers who made me work long hours, who was responsible? Me... for the most part...

I had to learn to better manage my deadlines 📆, to better prioritize requests and above all... to communicate clearly on these two points.

Instead of saying “Yes, I will do it for tomorrow!” » to all the requests that came in, I learned to say “Sure. I can do it for next week. You need it earlier ? Then I'll have to prioritize it over project X for a few days"

💪 Stay late in the office occasionally? No problem and I still do it when needed.

⏱⏱ Working long hours every day? No, it's definitely over.

Evenings at the office are not productive for the person doing them or for the company in the long term and this is something I now actively communicate to everyone who works under me.

Thank you Holger for caring about me when I didn't know how to do it myself and for introducing me to the concept of Work/Life Balance👍!

It took me a while to learn this lesson but this “𝘿𝙤𝙣’𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙚?” heard almost 15 years ago still resonates today.

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