You have been working from home for a year and a half yet still struggle to find your perfect work-life balance. It should be easier since you can theoretically fit in your personal activities between meetings. But somehow, the days are flying by, and you are procrastinating on your personal life. You feel the physical consequences of not prioritizing healthy eating and movement. You may even struggle to sleep through the night. You might be considering going back to the office, but logistically it doesn’t make sense for you. When you had to commute to the office, you struggled to find the time to sleep enough, see your family, and exercise consistently. Finding a work-life balance when working remotely can prove challenging in many respects. Recent studies show that 73 percent of employees claim to experience burnout, primarily due to a lack of separation of work and personal life. You might be experiencing the following problems due to a lack of work-life balance:
- Working all day and evening
- Irregular sleep
- Poor eating habits
- Lack of moving your body
- Home distractions
- Feeling lonely
While you may feel nostalgic for your past office lifestyle, it is still possible to achieve a work-life balance when working from home.
Here are a few tips you can incorporate into your schedule when working remotely:
1. Create a routine and stick to it
One way to improve your work-life balance when working remotely is to have a schedule to manage your time. In addition to helping you maintain productivity, it lets your colleagues know when you are available to work and when you commit to personal responsibilities. Keeping regular work hours is a way to remain disciplined and accountable. It is easy to want to be lenient with your work schedule, but without structure, the lower mind takes over and inhibits you from getting quality work done.
Moreover, having a routine is a sure way to set boundaries with family by letting them know when you need time alone to focus on work-related duties. Healthy boundaries are particularly important to protect your time and energy.
2. Maintain a designated workplace
Having a specific working area goes a long way in creating a more productive work environment. It also allows you to mentally transition from ‘home’ to ‘office’ while notifying everybody in the house that you should not be interrupted. Whenever you sit at your work space, treat this area like an office, just like you would if you were working in a traditional office environment. Segment your leisure and personal life from your work desk.
If you have extra rooms in your home, convert one of them into an office. For smaller houses or apartments, get creative and try sectioning an area in your bedroom or living room to serve as an office.
3. Improve communication with colleagues
Working from home can create a disconnect between you and your colleagues, which can adversely affect your productivity. To avoid this, be sure to connect with colleagues as often as possible. Tools such as Slack and Click-Up are excellent for communication between remote teams.
It’s also important to communicate your schedule to colleagues so that they know when to contact you and when to respect your private time. Let them know the best ways to reach you. Make sure to stay on top of emails and messages when you are working so that the team can reach you when needed since you are not physically in the same space. Schedule Zoom meetings rather than phone calls for face-to-face interaction.
4. Prioritize your health
When working from home, you might find yourself overwhelmed with home and office responsibilities, leading to physical exhaustion. To keep your mind fresh, make time to exercise to help reduce stress, lift your mood, and of course, stay fit. Since you are working from home, take advantage of home exercise equipment or take a brisk walk around the block. Maybe take advantage of a local exercise class nearby. Use your downtime to prioritize your health.
Simple exercises like yoga and morning jogs can work wonders in helping you to remain healthy and productive at all times. Focus on your diet by prioritizing organic healthy meals and staying hydrated. Take advantage of your easy kitchen access to prep a healthy meal such as an energizing smoothie during your lunch break rather than grabbing takeout.
5. Take breaks
In many cases, individuals working from home tend to get so consumed in their work that they forget to take time off to unwind. In the end, they end up being drained and unable to focus, which negatively impacts their work. This combined with lack of socialization can exacerbate feelings of isolation and loneliness
Taking breaks is vital for your physical and mental health as it allows you to refresh the mind. Once in a while, leave the house to take a walk, have a video coffee break, take a few minutes to stretch or meditate, or take a quick nap to recharge. Allow your body to relax so that you don’t face burnout.
6. Map out your priorities
The smarter and more organized you are in planning out your day, the more effective you will be with your precious resource of time. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your priorities before the workday begins. Estimate how much time you believe each task will take and rank them in order of importance. Make sure that you fully complete each task before moving on to the next. Scattered actions do not have noticeable results. For your productivity and self-esteem, it is always better to cross an item off the list knowing it has been completed.
At the start of the day, is best to tackle the most challenging items on your to-do list while you have the most energy and discipline. Be sure to “eat the frog first” and plan out breaks and rewards along the way for your efforts and arduous work.
The bottom line
While you may feel nostalgic for your past office lifestyle, it is still possible to achieve a work-life balance when working from home. Working from home obviously has its fair share of challenges. However, if you know how to work around these challenges, you can find a work-life balance to feel fulfilled as you work remotely. Take these steps to achieve balance and you’ll never want to commute to the office again.
Which of these activities are you struggling with to achieve work-life balance? Let us know in the comments below!
How to Work from Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive (lifehack.org)
9 ways to improve work-life balance while working from home Energy Resourcing
7 Steps to Achieving Work-at-Home Balance (thebalancecareers.com)
#5 taking breaks would really work for me!