When you're in the office, there is a general expectation that your personal life stays at the door, and any tasks relating to it -- such as taking time out to complete personal errands -- aren't acceptable.
But what if your employer actively encouraged you to take a break from your desk?
"Homing from work" may be the key. According to research conducted by digital media firm Captivate Network, merging work and your personal life in office hours may be the best method to not only maintain a better work-life balance, but also increase productivity while you're at your desk.
The company compared answers given in a survey this year to one two years previously. As a result, there was an 11 percent increase of workers that said they had a healthy life and work balance, despite an increase of 30 percent stating they worked over nine hours a day.
What prompted the change is a single admission: almost every respondent said they completed personal tasks during the working day.
Online shopping, surfing the Web and running errands proved popular tasks to complete during office hours, as well as buying groceries or visiting the doctor.
The findings make sense, although some employers may not be happy about staff undertaking such activities. While we log longer and longer hours in the office, unless regular breaks are taken, concentration and productivity can suffer. On the other hand, employees have to be treated equally in the workplace (think of the old smoker's break argument), and so such leniency has to be applied across the board -- which can also, in contrast, impact on productivity if certain employees take advantage of flexible schedules.
Take a look at Captivate's infographic on the subject below: