Until recently, remote work is associated with freelancers, digital nomads, and offsite sales and customer service representatives.
Then, COVID-19 happened. Most organizations—from media public relations firms to schools—are forced to implement a remote work system indefinitely. Employees had to struggle with setting boundaries between their work and home life, with varying degrees of success.
If it’s your first time working from home, it’s natural to struggle with work-life balance. According to a report by Deloitte, the most frequent challenge of remote workers during the pandemic is battling a new set of distractions, like a child or pet wanting attention.
With the pandemic showing no signs of ending soon, learning how to balance your home and work life is essential. Here are tried-and-tested tips from expert remote workers that can help you find the right balance between the personal and professional:
1. Stick to a schedule
When working from home, it might feel that you need to be available and online at any time. Set a schedule and let your team know what time they can reach you. If work matters come up beyond your schedule, it’s best to leave them for the next day.
2. Get ready to work the same way you do when going to the office
One of the benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to rush around the same way you do when you work in the office. But instead of snoozing your alarm, make the most of your extra hours getting ready for the day like you usually would. That way, you’ll be more mentally prepared to tackle the tasks ahead, and you’ll feel less tempted to lounge in the middle of the workday.
3. Use personal errands or activities to take a break
Like a typical day at the office, spending the whole day on your desk can be tiring. When working from home, the monotony and solitude may make you feel lonely.
Since you can’t meet your colleagues, spend your breaks at work doing personal errands. That way, you can take a break from work and get personal tasks done.
4. Make plans for hours after work
If your living space and workspace are in the same area, it can be a challenge to step away from work at the end of the day. Whether your plans involve taking care of the kids or attending a workout class, having something to do at the end of your workday ensures that you’ll sign off and stop working.
5. Find a workspace away from distractions
Work from a clutter-free space in your home and make sure it’s dedicated for work. It can be a home office, a living room desk, or the kitchen counter. Keep the space distinct from the rest of your home so you can unplug from work at the end of the day.
6. Prioritize your health
Naturally, working from home and the awareness of the pandemic can make you feel anxious and stressed. You can’t control what’s happening around you, but you can take care of your health to help you cope with it. Eat three healthy meals a day, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep.
Although working from home has its benefits, it also makes it difficult for employees to unplug from the workday. With these tips, you can achieve work-life balance and succeed in remote work.