Updated: Dec 16, 2020
With our work life and home life merging into one over recent months, it's becoming harder to define where one ends and the other begins. A lot of work has been done around trying to prevent your professional life affecting your private life, but what about when it’s the other way around. In this world of ‘blurred lines’ is it acceptable for your personal life to hold influence over your professional life?
With communication moving more and more online, WhatsApp has become such a commonplace way to communicate now. Group chats have very much become the norm. But when a work group chat is created and one person is left out of it and claims this is bullying behaviour, how do we govern where the professional ends and personal begins? Do we need to look at creating boundaries for ourselves – and if so what do those boundaries look like?
Colleagues befriend each other on various social media platforms, allowing us more access than ever before to our colleagues’ personal lives. We can, for the first time, see their children, their vacations, their political views and follow their lives in a very personal manner. In this age of remote working, information leakage around an individual’s private life happens more regularly than ever. The background of the room they are in, photos, certificates, their children – all accessible now to colleagues and employers, where before it would have been kept private. Is it acceptable then that this insight into their private lives can influence how we deal with them on a professional level? We could argue not, but what if one person is picked over another for a role because the employer's mind has been influenced unconsciously by what they have seen on their personal social media platforms?
This blurring of the lines is a minefield that has increased in its intensity in 2020 and will continue to do so. It highlights just how important our digital footprint (https://bit.ly/3k01F5Q) can be and how vital it is to ensure we put across the best version of ourselves possible on all our platforms. The lines are blurring and altering our social behaviour towards one another. It is imperative, therefore, our digital footprints remain clean and clear.