Illustration: Ashley Siebels
With so many seasons in our lives, some are bound to be tougher than others. Here’s how to cope in the office when unrest at home is taking its toll on you.
Don’t overshare at work…
While we’ve found that experts have varying opinions on this topic, you don’t want to share too much at work. As emotional intelligence expert Harvey Deutschendorf told Ladders, while you don’t want to completely shut people out, you shouldn’t mention anything that could be held against you later or hurt your reputation.
But this should be done on a case-by-case basis.
Just make sure that if you do decide a coworker, it’s someone you really trust.
…But don’t bottle it up — talk to your support system outside of work
If big changes happening outside of work are making it difficult to focus, you may find it beneficial to talk those you care about the most. They can help ground you when managing a constant stream of duties both in the office and at home becomes really difficult.
And who knows? Talking it out might even help you put things into perspective.
Take advantage of employer resources
“Many of us work for the same company for years and yet have no idea of the benefits available to us. Does your company offer childcare, counseling, or legal services? Many of these lesser-known benefits can ease the financial and emotional burden when a personal crisis strikes,” she writes.
Wilding goes on to mention that you should come up with “a list of things that would maximize your productivity during your crisis — such as working remotely while you visit family or reducing your hours for a couple weeks — and ask your boss if he or she can grant your requests.”
Meet with your boss about work expectations
Just be strategic about it.
Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review contributing editor and author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict at Work, features advice from Anne Kreamer, author of It’s Always Personal, in the publication.
“It’s also a good idea to loop your boss into what’s happening, assuming you feel comfortable doing so. If you have a very close relationship, tell them first and brainstorm ideas for reducing or covering your workload. But, in most cases, Kreamer says, it’s best to talk to your manager when you already ‘have some notion of how you intend to handle the problem.’ Run a tentative plan by your manager, outlining the time period you expect to be absent or working less, the colleagues who might step up for you, and whether you’ve already discussed that possibility with them. Then ask for your boss’s input,” Gallo writes.