Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Work and Home Cultures : Culture Shock That You've Never Imagined!

What do you know about culture shock? We often associate this term to what we experience whenever we move in to a new environment like a new country either for work or for a permanent stay. What we don't know is that culture shock can also refer to our experience within our current social life!

I've read an article by Jamie Cundy in her blog "The Beauty in the Beast" about this topic and I found it true to myself and what she mentioned are very informative and helpful.

Based on personal experiences, I've had this culture shock several times and there's no way anyone can actually stop this from happening. Culture shock, as mentioned at the onset, is our response to a shift in geographical location and also in social environment. I experienced this when I moved from the fast-paced humid city to a relaxed, laid-back cool city and stayed there for almost 13 years. I was a working student back then and I was in the adjusting phase where I see life in a fast track but I was in a literally slow environment. I often get bored because I got used to doing things in a hurry and being always busy. Then I decided to get back to the fast-life I used to have in the city but I felt like I don't want it anymore and I ended up longing for that subtle suburban life I had.

Whether I'm at home or at work, I often multitask and never leave any second unoccupied. At work, I deal with people on the phone who I don't know and not emotionally attached to. My work "image" or "person" is far different from my home image. At home, I'm interacting with my family and relatives and these are people who are very significant in my life. Sudden shifts of environment, after work we go home, somehow gives me culture shock. Normally, what happens at work cannot be left in the office alone. We tend to bring them home whether it's something good or bad, vice versa. I suffered from this state of chaos in my head because I don't know how to separate work from home. 

That leaves me having the weight of considering decisions in favor of my family than work. Being attached to someone is what makes us human and we tend to cling on that. Then there's the dilemma, to work and earn big money for your families basic needs e.g. shelter, food, clothes and education or to stay home to develop a better relationship most especially with kids. One way or the other, disadvantages are always the first thing that comes to our mind.

That is why for some of us, we prefer to work "away" from home to seclude that work culture from home culture. There are workplaces setup to offer lodging for employees whose homes are miles away to save from expenses and to eliminate that feeling and state of mind to go home. However, there are some of us, thank God to the brilliant use of the Internet as a communication tool, we can get to work at home because their getting popular.

Now, the results would be different for people who works remotely in an office and works remotely at home. Office setup gives you opportunity to meet people of all walks of life while home setup gives us the same opportunity but without the actual presence of those people. As an example, a working husband spends eight hours a day working in a prestigious company who often gets meetings, gatherings and what not. When he comes home exhausted and finds his home as his safe haven. With this routine and because of the pressure coming from his "work persona", he fears of being disconnected from his family and not being understood of what he does. Meanwhile, here comes a wife who works at home and takes in charge of everything at home. She may feel deprived of a life outside the four corners of the room and often times becomes paranoid of what her husband has been doing and who he's with. And the effect, the wife in now mixing her "work" and "home" persons which can now turn to a dysfunctional perception. Guess what could happen next, these two people might have the "awkwardness" to talk about things fearing that they don't belong to each other's zones.

Nevertheless, there must be some way to alleviate the clashing of work and home cultures. It is indeed a difficult process to undergo when we try to separate work and home attitude. Only few individuals are successful with this but not to say were perfectly consistent. To keep us sane on everything we do, we got to have someone to talk to. Someone who doesn't know our personal life nor any background to avoid biases and unnecessary gestures. People need outlet for every emotion we cannot handle. I have learned how to separate my work and home personalities but still haven't done it consistently the right way.

Do not try to change yourself but try to understand. I'm not an expert though personal experiences really teach us something.

Image Sources: disorderlychaos.blogspot.com getty image, google search images

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