Should PMs take work 'home'?

  • 25 October 2021
  • 2 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

I’m giving a talk on burnout in product and just wanted to do a little straw poll/call for opinions, I won’t be referencing any responses, it’s just to understand the general sentiment. Being a PM is a massive job. There is a popular opinion that a Product Manager’s job is never done and requires the PM to take work home. Curious to hear your thoughts, and TIA!

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

A great topic. Would be cool to see your talk from this once you give it. As a resource you might find our results from our survey this year on mental health and product interesting. Personally as a product leader in the past I encouraged my PMs not to take work home and to find time to stoke a balance. I feel a “always on” PM just ends up tired, more apt to make poor decisions, and likely to leave when they’re all work. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +8

I have to agree with @scott.baldwin. Taking Product Work “Home” is a dreadful idea and it’ll only cause the product manager to make rash decisions due to exhaustion/stress and so forth. Admittedly, we all know how stressful a Product Maker’s role can be - from the developer to the product manager to leadership in product.

It is difficult to “turn off” the duties of a PM, especially in smaller organizations where you’re the only PM (and are expected to be a blend of everything: SME, Support Engineer, Sales Engineer, Marketing Guru, Leadership, and all of the other/more obvious elements of Product Management). Even with this said, it’s best to try to find ways to funnel that “PM mindset” in healthier ways that aren’t related to work. From writing/producing music to playing video games to reading books (doesn’t have to be about Product!) and anything in-between - the mindset of a product maker/manager is seldom ever “off” but it can be channeled in ways that aren’t as mentally/physically exhausting as work-specific things.