One of the impacts of a pandemic may be a large shift in daily activities to the home environment. As with everything, when working at home office we should find our balance.
Because balance between work and leisure is crucial if we want to have a good quality of life. However, working from home can result in it being extremely difficult to achieve a beneficial balance.
Anyway, it doesn’t mean that working from home is destined to be a disaster, though. Far from it! All that’s required is some self-discipline and a more conscious approach to our daily routine. Here are some practical suggestions to improve your work-life balance while working remotely.
If you’re still working from the bed, it’s time to change that. Finding your own designated workplace can make a huge difference to your mindset. How? Well, you’ll feel that you’re actually “going to work” even if you’re only going to the kitchen table.
You should also try to make your office as suitable for work as possible. This may mean investing in an ergonomic office chair or perhaps better lighting solutions. Plants and pillows may also help make your workplace a more pleasant, comfortable space to be in.
During the pandemic, many employees didn’t see any point in taking annual leave seeing as they were going to be stuck at home either way. However, time off from work is a vital ingredient when it comes to work-life balance. This applies on a day-to-day basis too.
Remember, you’re not supposed to spend endless hours at your desk without a break. Ensure you’re taking regular time for yourself. Have your mid-morning coffee break and your lunch hour just as you would at the office. It doesn’t count if you eat at the computer!
Working from home shouldn’t mean working in isolation. Why not connect with a colleague and share a virtual coffee break? You can even co-work virtually by video streaming with one another during work hours. It’s a great way to replicate office interactions for those who miss that environment.
In your local area, there may be physical co-working spaces that you can pay to use. This is a super solution for people whose houses are too busy or noisy for full concentration. They also offer the opportunity to meet and network with other professionals.
For meetings where video participation isn’t required, you could always participate while taking a stroll in the park. Technology is available to make these things possible, so there’s no need to restrict ourselves to outdated visions of what work should look like. There’s also plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that nature has a positive impact on our productivity.
Don’t feel like you have to be chained to your desk to work effectively! Changing the scenery can be very creatively stimulating, even if all you’re doing is taking your laptop to the nearest coffee place.
How do you handle the transition between work and free time? Many of us don’t do anything to mark this, and as a result, we find it difficult to relax. Our bodies still feel like they should be working without the ritual of the commute to tell them otherwise.
A good idea is to implement a routine whereby a single action signifies that work is over. Turn off technology and take a walk with a friend or family member at 5 pm, for example. Watch your favorite show for half an hour every day at the exact moment when your workday ends. You could even have an “end of day” song to help signal to your brain that it’s time to chill.
Working from home isn’t going anywhere soon, and the good news is this style of work offers great opportunities for better work-life balance when it’s approached strategically and sensibly. Many of us were thrown into the work-from-home lifestyle without much warning when the pandemic hit in 2020. A year later, we should be finding ways to make this change work for us so that we can enjoy both our work and leisure time.