Since the pandemic began in 2020, the normal business hours have taken a back seat, as has the prospect of working on-premises. Instead, professionals often work from home and, in many cases, they have to work around their families. As their usual routines have been upended, most people have reported that their work-life balance has worsened when working from home.
There’s a higher level of flexibility when working remotely, but this flexibility sometimes increases pressure. For example, if you work at odd hours or don’t meet with your colleagues every day, you may feel pressured to spend more time online and work than you would otherwise in the office. And without colleagues reminding you to eat lunch, take breaks, or leave for the day, remote workers may work extra hours and not have as much free time as they normally would.
In this blog post, we will provide some useful tips on work-life balance for remote workers. Whether you are a remote work pro or you are new to working from home, these useful tips will help you stay productive at work while still making time for your family, friends, and personal interests each day.
- Set a Schedule and Stick to It
When you have the flexibility to work from anywhere, it sometimes feels like you need to be online and available at all times too. And when you work on a different schedule than the rest of your teammates, that flexibility can sometimes create a lack of work-life balance.
If you’re working remotely, try to set a schedule and stick to it. This is helpful for your team and your work-life balance. This way, your teammates know exactly when they cannot and can reach you, and you can plan your activities outside work, wake up and go to bed simultaneously, and work a manageable number of hours.
If things come up regularly that require you to log in early or stay online longer than those hours, that might be a great nudge for you to alter your work hours so that you’re available during those times, but still, make sure to keep your time to recharge.
- Use Communication Tools to Show Your Online and Offline Status
Once you have established a daily schedule that works for you and your team, use a variety of tools to publish that schedule so that your teammates in different time zones and locations are aware of and respectful of that time.
To support your work-life balance, if you work from home, you can set your particular communication tool availability not to receive notifications before or after a specific time of the day and you can specify your working hours in Google Calendar so that you automatically decline events that take place outside of your regular schedule. And by posting your hours, your co-workers will be mindful of your private time and may email you or make an appointment with you rather than sending a barrage of texts in the middle of the night or early in the day when you are working.
- Use Personal Activities or Errands to Take Breaks Throughout the Day
One of the finest perks of working from home is increased productivity. Without travelling, walking around the office, or chatting in the office, you can invest more time getting your work done. However, the monotony of solitude that comes with remote work can often be lonely and can make you feel like you do not have time to yourself when you are working.
Instead, you can run personal errands to balance work and life, to break up your day when you need to get away from your computer or desk for a few minutes. This allows you to take breaks from work that is still productive and help you complete personal tasks so you can spend your time offline cooking, relaxing, or exercising instead of rushing around to run errands like you would have to if working in an office.
Strategies That Help You Balance between Work and Life When Working Remotely Click To Tweet
- Make Plans for Your Post-Work Hours to Eliminate or Curb Work Fatigue
When your living and working space is the same place, it can be difficult to truly make yourself step away from work at the end of the day, even after you’ve closed your desktop or laptop and logged off. Sometimes there may be no reason to sign off at a particular time if you are already working from home.
If you’re a remote worker looking for a bit more work-life balance, plan your off hours to that end and stick to it. Whether the plans include attending a training class or happy hour drinks with friends or family, you are more likely to log off and quit work if you need to be somewhere at the end of your workday.
- Work in a Space That’s Separate from the Rest of Your Home
Just as you prepare for a productive day working from home, choosing the right workspace can set you up for a productive day.
Working from home is quite more distracting than working when you are in the office. For one, you are not alone, with no co-workers to encourage or motivate you to stay busy and productive. On the other hand, your home offers more things to carry out than your office. Working from your bed or couch, where you usually watch your favourite sitcoms or shows, can get you distracted half the day. If you’re working from your dining table covered with laundry that needs washing, you can do this instead of working.
Instead, work from a neat space in your home specifically designed for work. Perhaps this is your home office, the desk or the lobby of your beautiful apartment building. You should pick a spot where you can be productive and keep that space separate from the rest of your home so you can unplug when you’re done.
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The Key Takeaway
While these tips might seem simple to execute, how often do we implement them? While you might feel like you have to work insanely hard to prove your productivity, coping with stress has been associated with physical health issues, as well as mental health problems.
The underlying aim is to create structure in your life that permits you to enjoy working while optimizing your health and happiness over the long term.