Emotions at center of balance personal life – professional life

Hard to feign enthusiasm in the face of a client or a colleague while the you are in the divorce. Conversely, it is difficult to feign enthusiasm in reconnecting with his family while we have lived a difficult situation with a client and his or her manager during the day. This emotional dimension, which makes it extremely porous the border between private and professional life, however, it seems today the most overlooked of the management.

by Benedict Meyronin, senior Teacher, Grenoble ecole de Management (GEM) originally published on The Conversation

 The Conversation

Published February 7, 2019 at 16:25


The emotions do not stop at the door of the company.This is the first strong element that emerges from our study at the end of 2018.

However, this question of the perduration of these emotions in one or the other of these spheres is, however, much more central than the strong tertiarization of the economy has led a large number of employees to carry out a “emotion work” – to borrow the term from the sociologist north american N Hochschild.

In the clear, an important part of our tasks is to “produce” certain emotions depending on the situation, whether it’s a relationship face-to-face or at a distance : to be reassuring, enthusiastic, available, smiling, etc, Of the air hostess to the controller of the metro, the welcome officer is out of a leisure park for the midwife, each(e) should invoke feelings of varied registers to be perceived as a “professional” to listen to its audience.

This emotional commitment is essential to make care management a lot more strong than is the case currently. Indeed, who speaks, in companies, of emotion work as such ?

To better support the employees

Among the good practices that companies can put in place to limit the negative effects of these emotions are born in one sphere and transferred to the other, include first of all their position as a “life partner” of the employee. This includes support services (on topics such as the caregivers at the destination employees who accompany an elderly and/or sick), as is done in Orange or at BNP Paribas, for example, but also through the development of teleworking and managerial practices are adapted. This is to show that the management cares about effectively managing this balance, and that it has become aware of the porosity between the two spheres.

The study also highlights the potential importance of a ” right to disconnect “. The digital effect led to further reinforce the blurring of the boundaries between professional and personal life. Thus, employees are likely to take knowledge and/or respond to e-mails on the weekend. A way of taking care of the teams, therefore, is to prohibit the sending of messages after 18h or before 8 am (and no mail on weekends or holidays).

Treat employees as adults

Conversely, the employees will take knowledge of personal messages and/or consult with a social network during the working time. Want to remedy by prohibition processing is obviously not a responsible solution in a world of adults, and that clearly lay down the subject “on the table” and ask questions collectively on such practices (are they legitimate ? What do they involve ? etc) must be able to lead to regulations healthy because conscious and shared. Treat its employees as adults is without doubt the first act of a mode of management… ” modern “.

Finally, if the solutions are institutional or organisational, can and must be found, the solidarity of the “ordinary” also have their legitimacy : when, for example, a work collective decides to make a gift of days RTT for the benefit of a colleague who may have to cope with a difficult personal situation (a role of helping increased, for example, with an elderly in loss of autonomy or a child who is hospitalized over a long period), this logic of gift is a necessary expression of an act of generosity that comes to the bedside of an imbalance again in the personal and professional lives of a pair. However, this type of event, as our study is otherwise, is often at the origin of the imbalances between private life and professional life in people who were previously very well-organized.

If the company does not intend to promote such arrangements (although one could discuss this point), it remains that it must be able to let them express their opinions freely and, if necessary, complement by measures more or less exceptional this act of solidarity.

It’s clear, reading these good practices, that the management has its role to play in preserving the balance of the employees. A balance all the more essential because it is an essential component of the performance of the employee, and thus of the company itself.

To go further

==> Dare to express your emotions at work !

It is not easy to express his emotions at work ! On the one hand because they are not always the views of a good eye, the other because it is often difficult to find the right words to express appropriately. Here’s how to learn how to express them.

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