For a lot of people, working from home has become the new norm. For the people that are new to working from home, it might be hard to balance work and home life as the boundaries between start to blur. Finding yourself working longer hours, thinking about work all the time, or even watching television while answering emails. This is not a work-life balance.
Work-life balance is “how workers distribute their time between professional and personal obligations.” If someone has a good work-life balance they are able to draw a line under their day and allocate time to focus on other aspects in their life. Establishing a healthy work-life balance is essential. A good work-life balance promotes increased productivity, motivation, and improved work outcomes.
Here are a few tips to help you with creating a healthy work-life balance.
Set strict work hours
Working from home provides you flexibility from where you work and for how long. However, sticking as close to your regular work schedule is highly recommended. By setting strict work hours, you are less likely to overdo it or to under-work. To help you stick to these time frames, it is a good idea to host team meetings at the start and end of your workday. The morning meeting will help you assess what you want to achieve in the day and how to do it. The evening meeting would go through if you achieved it and puts a cap on your day. This not only helps you feel connected with your team but makes you accountable for your work activity.
Furthermore, it Is important to communicate with your team the hours you will be offline, especially if your team is working different hours to you. This includes notifying them when your taking your lunch break. This break is designed to take you away from your computer and for you to take a breather. So, taking it without work interruptions is a must.
Make plans for your after-work
If your work and living space aren’t separate it can make it hard to step away from your work and to draw that line under your day. By locking in plans for after work you are more likely to step away from your computer and log off. Not only does it get you to finish work on time, but it gives you something to look forward to. From exercise to (virtual) drinks with friends, this will help you both mentally and physically log off from work.
Get dressed like you would be going to the office
When working from home you don’t experience the same rush in the mornings. You remove the steps of commuting and packing your bags. With the obvious benefits of sleeping in an extra hour or two, and the ability to do extra errands in the morning. However, this shouldn’t stop you from getting ready as if you were going to the office. By following your normal work-day routine as closely as possible, it will help you mentally prepare for the day ahead and make you less tempted to engage in activities that aren’t work-related, like lounging on the couch.
Go outside and take a break. Many people might see this as time-wasting and not productive. However, it is proven that even stepping outside for 30 minutes, makes you more effective and productive at work.
At work, your thoughts are racing a million miles a minute and that can make it hard to focus your attention effectively. Your stress levels rise and the work you produce isn’t of a high quality. By taking a step back and going for a walk or even just sitting outside can help you reduce stress, improve your mood, and regain control over your thoughts to effectively execute them.
By introducing simple steps in your workday, you are more likely to improve your quality of work and better your wellbeing. Being stuck at home can be hard but by learning to separate and balance your work and your personal life, will improve your output.