The pandemic ushered in the prevalence of work-from-home set-ups virtually among all industries. It has given employees added safety, but their overall responsibilities are not necessarily lighter. Being housebound presents several challenges that might drive them away from work productivity, which is why everyone working from home must find suitable ways for them to achieve work-life balance.
Many of us would be surprised how easy it is to blur the lines between work time and living our personal lives with a WFH set-up. If you are having trouble separating home and work life, we have tips that can help prevent an ugly spiral to work-from-home burnout. Find the balance you need and be productive every working day of your life.
Seize the day
Here are some of the best ways for you to achieve work-life balance in this remote work set-up era.
- Build a non-work-related, personalized morning routine
You do not like to begin your days by checking on your work email and finding out that you have an emergency presentation deck due after lunchtime that day.
Starting your mornings like that is a sure road to bringing anxiety and unnecessary stress since you will be forced to begin the day with a fight-or-flight mindset. This is why it is essential that you feel relaxed by starting your day with a morning routine that should always come first before you hop on the grind train.
Morning routines will look different for every individual. Some may prefer to start their mornings with a quick run, others with the smell of freshly roasted ground coffee beans, or perhaps a short morning yoga session on YouTube.
Whether you start your day with a cold shower or a motivational podcast, you must try to be consistent with these positive morning habits to help you get a good start of the day, so you would be prepared for whatever fate throws at you.
- Separate your home office from your personal spaces
Checking and answering work emails from the comfort of your bedroom may sound appealing, but it would inevitably lead to being stressed and always on edge. Separating your workspace from your rest areas is the first crucial step in setting boundaries between work and play.
Many people underestimate the importance of having a separate workspace in their homes and inevitably mix doing personal business with work-related business somewhere along the length of this WFH saga. Designating a “sacred” workspace away from personal distractions, even if it is just a tiny area in your room or family room, can make all the difference in boosting your productivity.
- Invest in good workspace furniture
By good furniture, we mean ones that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and ergonomic. We recommend that you invest in a sit-stand desk that would allow you to alternate between standing and sitting. Having a desk designated especially for work keeps boundaries clear.
Also, if you could afford it, get an ergonomic chair to help you maintain a good posture while working for hours. While regular stretching may help, investing in a good work chair that complements your space requirements is always a great move to ensure that you do not get unnecessarily tired from working from home.
- Have a definite work schedule
Define the start and end times of your workdays and stick to that schedule, always. Do not allow yourself to be consumed by the idea that working from home gives your employer unlimited access to your valuable time.
Doing this not only gives your days structure, but it also allows you to carve out time for socializing with family and friends (online, while the pandemic rages on), to develop new hobbies, for relaxing, and of course, for self-care.
- Create disruptions or break away from your daily or weekly routine once in a while
Yes, it is a bit of a contradiction, but having the ability to break away from your daily routine responsibly takes out a load of ennui that could befall you while working from home.
It does not have to be a packing-away-for-Paris-this-weekend kind of getaway; it could be something as simple as running a few errands while on your lunch break if the grocery or wherever you need to transact is near your place.
Boredom and loneliness could creep in, especially when you are left alone for too long. Creating mini-distractions and breaking away from routine once in a while is extremely helpful in restoring your productivity to a healthier level.
- Be kinder to yourself
Working from home is a greater challenge for some compared to others. Case in point: your introvert friends are probably having fun having so much alone time while working from home, but your extrovert pals might be clawing their way to the next day, in deep need of both sunlight and night lights. Which side do you belong to?
We never know what anyone is going through. You may have gone through a lot yourself, more than you realize, but you have been so busy paying bills and getting stuff done at work that you have barely noticed your triumphs.
Do not sweat the small stuff. If you make mistakes at work or home, own up to them, see how you can do better next time, and just keep learning. Everyone is adjusting to this new set-up, and being kinder to yourself will allow you to show kindness to others, as well.
Set boundaries but be boundless
Setting boundaries with your workspace, work schedule, and task limits will not stunt your growth. It is a healthy, holistic approach to making sure that you gain full control of your time, and in turn, the energy you take and receive.
While it could be a challenge when work and personal lives are blurred thanks to the remote work set-up, we can still achieve work-life balance if we stay committed to developing healthy habits that we can carry with us for the rest of our lives.
This article was originally published on HR C-Suite.
Published by Valerie Chua