Events of recent times have seen many organizations across different industries adopt the remote work model. The shift has been a success for the most part, with many workers saying their productivity has gone up, not to mention how much everyone seems to enjoy the increased flexibility and other perks of remote working.
For all its upsides, one of the greatest challenges of remote working no doubt revolves around separating life and work. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial to reducing anxiety and preventing burnout, among many other benefits.
Remote working is here to stay, now and in the future. With that in mind, it is important to have a plan on managing your work-life balance. Here are some helpful tips to help you manage this balance
1. Have a Dedicated Workspace
Creating a work environment at home starts with creating a dedicated workspace. It is easier to mental switch between work and home mode when you have a separate space for your work.
If you don’t have a home office, you need to be more deliberate with your choice of a spot. Get a good table and chair set, and set up in a spot with enough lighting. You want somewhere without too much traffic, so you can avoid distractions.
Also, make a point of keeping your workspace organized and free of clutter. The better organized you are, the more productive you are likely to be as you work from home. Keep everything you need for work in one place, and keep out of your desk anything you don’t need.
2. Set a Schedule and Stick to it
Setting your working hours is, without a doubt, one of the most effective ways to stay productive while working remotely. Do your best to complete your workload for the day within those hours, so you don’t find yourself putting in more hours.
The best way to go about it is to create a ritual for yourself. What time will you be waking up? What will you do in the time between when you wake up and when you sit down at your home office? What about after? Do your best to stick to the ritual for a better life-work balance. Focus on developing a ritual that has nothing to do with work such as meditating, or doing some yoga before you start on your workday.
3. Set Boundaries
After setting up your work hours, the next thing you want to do is to set boundaries by communicating your schedule with both your team members and family.
Ask that your team members get in touch with you only during those working hours, unless in circumstances where it is an absolute must to do otherwise. Communicate that you are signing off at the end of the day, and may not be available until the next. With some heads up, your family will know not to disturb you while you work. Purpose to spend some quality time with family once you sign off from work so they won’t feel neglected.
Breaks during your workday are just important when you are working remotely as they are when working in the traditional in-office setting. When working remotely, it is easier to lose track of time as you jump from one task to the next. Take a few minutes away from your computer throughout the day and catch yourself a break.
Step away from your workstation and relax on the couch as you enjoy a snack, or listen to some refreshing music. Have a set lunch break that you can look forward to each day. You can use this time to rest up at home or step out for a walk around the block, or even running a personal errand.
5. Plan for your After-work Hours
Making plans for when you get off your computer at the end of your set work schedule is an excellent way to make that mental switch to home mode. With no plans to look forward to, you may find yourself staying signed in, and not stepping away from work.
For that great work-life balance make plans for your after-work hours and stick to them. The better if these plans involve you stepping out of the house, although you can always do something even at home. Make plans to meet up with a friend for drinks. Go to the gym, ride your bike around the neighborhood, or visit family. The change of environment will do you a lot of good, and you will be reinvigorated for the next day.
Developing and maintaining a healthy work-life balance should always be a priority when you are working remotely. This way, you can navigate the pressures and challenges, while being your most productive at work, and at the same time being present for yourself and your family.