For most remote workers, work and life are interwoven. Is that a healthy practice?
Flexibility is an attractive perk of a remote workforce. You can decide to vacation outside the country and work from any part of the world. Well, that’s the fun side. But the flexibility is also the downside.
Working with flexible work hours is a surefire way to overwork without realizing it. Without discipline, you may end up working non-stop without any regard for lunch breaks and close hours. With the lines between work and personal life blurring out completely, how can you keep work and personal lives apart?
It requires conscious efforts. Balancing work and life is an art. If you don’t perfect it, the scale will always tilt in favor of the other. Are you striving to develop a work-life balance?
We are here to help!
Our tips will simplify the art of work-life balance. Whether you are a remote worker or work in a hybrid work arrangement, these tips will help you stay productive. Yet, they will leave enough time for your interests and family.
Now, what is work-life balance?
What Is Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance means how well workers allocate time between personal and professional obligations. An excellent work-life balance means a worker successfully allots time such that there is time for social interests, other activities, and family after work.
Why Is Work-Life Balance Important
Deficient work-life balance causes depression and works burnout. The worker risks feeling stressed and out of control in his personal life. People with an excellent work-life are happier. They also have time to engage in activities that serve as de-stressors. Sadness impacts work productivity negatively. Hence, a flawless work-life balance improves your work output.
If you use your work flexibility to your advantage, you will experience a sensational improvement in your mood. Moreover, your work productivity will also amplify.
Follow these tips to achieve the best work balance result.
How To Maintain Work-Life Balance
Don’t Check Work Emails in Bed
Get a sticky note and paste this close to your bed. Seeing it every day will sure make it register. Yes, it’s that crucial!
If you are guilty of checking work emails in bed, drop the habit. Even if you wake up to scour through Twitter and Instagram for trends you missed while sleeping, don’t check your work emails. To improve your work-life balance, check work emails in your home office.
Consider keeping your mails on your work phone if you have one and leave the work phone in your living room or your designated workspace to ensure you don’t get tempted.
If you don’t have a work phone, be disciplined about it. Your bedroom is your living area, so don’t work there. Note that this is the first rule to a perfect work-life balance.
Create A Morning Routine Outside Work Activities
Don’t start your day with work gears grinding. That’s the mistake most remote workers make. They believe since they work from home, they might as well start work straight from your bed-- well, no. It’s a faulty notion.
One easy way to keep work business away from personal dealings is to start your day with things you love. Starting your day with your hobbies or a light workout relaxes you. It prepares your brain for work.
Sandwiching your workday with personal interests may work for you-- or not. Find what works for you and adapt it as a work-from-home routine. Essentially, create an early morning schedule.
Confused about how to start a workday? We’ve got you covered; try these healthy practices:
A short yoga session
Coffee ritual (Consider your preference)
Take a soothing shower while you blast your favorite playlist or podcast
Take a walk through your garden or anywhere scenic around your house.
Design A Workspace That Separate Life with Work
Create a home office or workspace. You don’t have to be extra while designing your workspace. All that matters is that you have a stolid workspace void of any form of distraction; it could be a corner in your living room or bedroom.
Creating a specific space for work helps you split workdays and weekdays mentally. Note that your workspace must help you focus and ensure you use it for work purposes only.
We suggest that you invest in a standard desk to make your home office suitable for work. If you have ample space, an adjustable standing desk is the healthiest option.
Have A Work Schedule with A Definite Start and End Time
Your work schedule is incomplete without a strict start and end time. Once it’s time to stop, tell yourself to leave your workspace. Learn to round up a few minutes before your end time. You may scribble your closing time on a post-it note and place it on a wall close to your desk.
If you don’t complete your tasks before the time lapses, leave it till the following day. Working this way aids your work-life balance and health. Ensure you use your evenings and early mornings for your favorite pastimes or family time.
Avoid Your Home Office During Off Days
Your work environment can trigger you to work. That’s why you need a designated workspace; avoid your workspace on weekends unless you have urgent assignments. Don’t use your adjustable ergonomic chair as a regular chair, and make sure you spend your off days away from the home office to avoid working.
Take Lunch Breaks
In a traditional office setting, it’s hard to miss the lunch break. Your colleagues may invite you to lunch, or your client may suggest a lunch date. Either way, you’d get a lunch break reminder.
Working from home is different. Without an alarm or discipline, chances are you’d forget lunch. That’s a terrible habit. Make sure you make lunch break part of your workday; improve your work-life balance by punctuating your day. Set a lunch break to take some time off and refresh your brain.
When you ignore your lunch breaks, you’ll sentence yourself to a tiring workday without a break. You may think this increases your pace, but it doesn’t. Such a work marathon makes you exhausted until your work productivity suffers.
So, take lunch breaks.
Use Work Productivity Tools to Stay on Top of Your Work
You have the potentials to skyrocket work productivity and improve work-life balance while working from home. But of course, you need to be disciplined and use the tools at your disposal. Without these two factors, you’d struggle to maintain a work-life balance while working remotely.
Firstly, you don’t need to wake up early to catch a train or beat your boss to the office. With calendar blocking, timer, or any other tool, you could aid your work output while working from home.
Distraction comes easy to remote workers, so these distraction limiting tools tend to improve your work-life balance. They will help you work at the right time and leave work when it’s time.
Create A Meeting Space That Aids Productivity
Working from home is multidimensional.
Your work may require frequent virtual meetings with clients, your bosses, or teammates at work. So, create a meeting space that meets your work needs. Whether you live alone or have roommates and family around, isolate your meeting space to avoid distractions during meetings.
Another essential feature for meeting space is that it mustn’t be personal. Take out all photos or items that portray your interest from the meeting area. Ridding your meeting space of all personal items creates a more realistic and work-inclined space.
Ensure you equip your meeting space with a sit-stand desk and a comfortable ergo office chair. Also, ensure the ambiance is warm. Your meeting space must be used for work always for effective work-life separation.
Have A Strict Fitness Routine
Working from home could be tiring. And sometimes you expend excess time on work till it becomes draining. Learn to carve out time for fitness and other hobbies.
Creating time for active exercise goals and engaging in fitness activities increases work focus. You can use an exercise app to include fitness into your schedule while working remotely. For instance, a step count competition that tracks your steps or calories burned daily is potent.
Moreover, such apps expose you to daily goals. Make sure you tick the goals daily and take online Yoga classes as well. Exercises are proven productivity enhancers; use them to your benefit. Participating in fitness activities during the day is also a way to separate work from your personal life.
Learn to Close Your Laptop for the Day at a Specific Time
Remember the feeling you get when you take water after being dehydrated for hours? It’s nothing close to the satisfaction you get when you close your laptop after a stressful day.
Not everyone can close their laptop for the day because their work laptop also serves personal purposes. Nevertheless, always take your eyes off your screen after you treat the last mail or complete the final task for the day.
You can cook, read, or listen to your favorite podcast for a while. When you’ve taken some time off the screen, you can turn on your laptop to binge-watch on Netflix or video call your friends.
Engage In Fun Post-Work Activities
Have you ever considered an end-of-the-day routine for work-life balance?
It’s a relaxing way to let off the working steam. We recommend developing an after-work routine to wash off the day’s stress and prepare you for the next day’s work. Make it a daily habit to sign out of work with fun activities.
We have a few recommendations to inspire your post-work routine:
Go biking or running if the weather is favorable
Try indoor workout on rainy or chilly days
Get your groceries, toiletries, or shop for other essential household items
Whisk a healthy cuisine
Prepare for the next day by resolving every post-work assignment or any other preparatory activity.
On weekends, try hanging out with friends
Take Compulsory Breaks to Avoid Work Burnout
An imbalanced work-life causes burnout. As a remote worker, it’s almost impossible to avoid burnout if you aren’t disciplined and health-conscious. So, it happens to the best of us. If your burnout results from work-life imbalance, the best way to cure it is to take a break.
Focus on yourself-- even if it’s a workday. Such breaks take pressure off your brain. During this break, don’t stay in your home office; you can take a walk to any part of your house that helps you relax.
You may also turn off your work phone for a while. When you feel better, resume work. But if you don’t feel better and believe you need more time to rest, inform your boss. It won’t hurt to take a day off if it aggrandizes your work productivity.
Maximize Positive Lifestyle Benefits While Working from Home
Working from home has loads of benefits. The first benefit is that it eradicates the need to commute and report to the office. You can put that time into good use before work.
Secondly, if you have several annoying coworkers, you don’t have to deal with them anymore! Well, except during virtual meetings.
Moreover, you can influence your work-life balance without other external interference. Remote working offers flexibility which births the autonomy to develop a schedule and abide by it.
Maximize the hours you would have spent driving to work. Use it for fitness, cooking, or learning something new. Be sure it doesn’t go to waste!
Network and Foster New Relationships
Don’t stop networking. Hang out with friends, meet new people, and take advantage of virtual events. In this digital world, WFH shouldn’t limit your networking abilities. Hence, channel all your work from home abilities into staying social.
Make out time for other post-work activities. Be flexible and homely! Networking is another way to achieve work-life balance-- keep your eyes peeled for all networking opportunities!