Typically, once you enter the door of your home, you can ignore work emails or switch off your phone. Yet, there is no physical separation from your home and work life when you work from home.
It can be hard to strike that balance between being at home and working from home. This can even be downright depressing and have a negative effect on your mental well-being. Those lines between professional life and home life easily get crossed.
So, what is work-life balance, and what can you do to keep it when working from home?
What Is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is a delicate balance of dividing your time between your work life and home life. It’s a tricky balance to strike, as some people struggle to shut off after the workday is over and may answer emails, messages, and phone calls when they are at home after the day is done. It’s all about balancing and prioritizing your professional life and personal life to have a healthy working environment and separate home space.
How Does Working From Home Impact Your Work-Life Balance?
Many people feel guilty when working at home, as they do not need to go to work or travel and commute into work physically. With no clear rules for working from home, those who do so may find themselves more likely to work longer hours and have fewer rest periods. So, how can you ensure that you have a good work-life balance when you work from home?
6 Tips For Work-Life Balance When You Work From Home
When working from home, you must set boundaries not to work overtime or upset your work-life balance.
1. Work Set Hours Or Times
The most important way to keep work-life balance is to create a schedule or work at set times every day and stick to your routine.
Don’t go back and write another email, don’t schedule another meeting; just work your set hours. You cannot make yourself available to an employer or clients 24/7 without burning out. If you have set hours, you can take your breaks each day and establish a working routine for yourself.
2. Make Plans For After Work
Another way to establish good work-life balance is to make plans after work. This can give you something to focus on and look forward to outside your professional life and motivate you to get through the workday.
3. Take Breaks Throughout The Day
Just because you can work from the comfort of your own home does not mean that you do not deserve breaks throughout the day. Breaks can help improve productivity, by forcing you to think about something other than work. When you run a few errands or grab coffee, you may find that you return to your task with more energy and renewed focus.
4. Indicate When Online/Offline
There are ways you can show you are online and when you are offline on many workplace apps. For instance, you can silence specific work-group chats when you finish for the day, so you are not disturbed during your downtime. Alternatively, you can set email reminders for when you are out of the office so people cannot contact you when you’re enjoying some free time.
5. Work In A Separate Space
If possible, find a separate space in your house for work. This means setting up a desk in a part of your home that is solely dedicated to your working hours. You don’t want to be working with your laptop in bed or on the couch, then finish work and try to chill out on the couch. It doesn’t feel relaxing anymore, and you’ll struggle to switch off from your professional life.
6. Take A Walk
What is most important is taking a walk throughout the day. It’s not healthy to sit all day and not exercise, so make sure that you take walks, get moving, and get some fresh air into your lungs for your physical and mental health.
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