The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote working a new norm, and many companies are now adopting this working model to solve their workforce needs. The shift to working from home has brought convenience and flexibility to many workers. But how to balance work and home chores in a virtual office? This article explores five ways to keep a work-life balance when working from home.
Set a Work Schedule
It is easy to get distracted when you are working alone. For instance, you may feel the urge to switch on your TV to watch your favorite movie. The key to overcoming this is to schedule your work. Following a work schedule allows you to plan your daily tasks, ensuring you meet the set goals.
Not having a set work schedule is one of the biggest mistakes people make when doing work tasks. Things can get messy. A work schedule will help you concentrate on the critical tasks of the day. Besides, you will have mental clarity on the current priorities.
Diverting your work from a work schedule will make it easier for you to be distracted and lead to procrastination. The time you waste impacts your productivity.
The solution is to allocate and separate personal and professional time. Set up times for work, breaks, and leisure activities.
Your family members or housemates should know your work schedule. It assists them in understanding when you want dedicated work time, preventing work from mixing with personal time and vice versa.
Establish a Home Office Space
You should not combine your work and personal space. Make a separate workspace, which can be part of your living room or garage. The workplace will remind you to work when you are in it. Focus on your tasks, meaning do not use social media or watch YouTube.
Choose a distinct space that will help you work productively. Be assertive and make it clear to your family or housemates that it is a place of work at a specific time of the day. If you share your home, people and pets should not be allowed when you are working.
Having separate working and leisure areas makes moving away from work-related tasks easy at the end of the day. Use the workspace during workdays only and stay away from it during your off days.
Prioritize Workplace Tasks
When working from home, you can get caught up in the home chores and lose sight of work-related tasks. Poor time management will lead to missed deadlines, lost productivity, and low job quality. Prioritize and manage workload to prevent this from happening.
Many to-do apps, online tools, and task managers help you manage your time. But it is sometimes good to start with a pen and paper. Write a to-do list early in the morning or at the end of the work day for the following day. Include all the tasks you should complete and by when.
The list can have, for example, short-term tasks like calling a client combined with long-term priorities, such as implementing a new IT system. Ranking tasks according to their urgency or importance will help focus your mind.
Check and respond to phone calls and emails at specific times to prevent distractions from critical tasks. Losing the contact details of customers is quite common. It happens to many remote workers. Use Leadar to access their phone number, email, or social media accounts and connect with your customers.
Staying connected to your colleagues is the most challenging part of maintaining balance while working from home. Technology is crucial as it will help you collaborate with your peers. Sharing your work-from-home schedule with your teammates helps them know when to contact you.
Keep Healthy Routines
Your physical and mental well-being will be at risk, as you may find yourself sitting for long periods without regular breaks or physical activity. Establishing good and healthy routines will prevent you from lapsing into unhealthy behavior.
Get enough sleep to let your body re-energize and rest. Adequate sleep is critical for strengthening your immune system and improving cognitive function.
Snacking seems the best way to get full, but you may feel hungry at the wrong time. Instead, allocate time and go somewhere to have a proper lunch. Eating a balanced meal at regular times is necessary for your body.
Sitting on a comfortable chair helps with your focus. But getting out of your chair and walking for a few minutes can release tension and keep you recharged and focused.
Not only does your body need the break, but also your eyes. Taking screen breaks will rest your eyes. Answering your phone increases your screen time. Consider muting your tablet or phone to prevent you from developing screen-related vision problems in the long run.
Bond With Your Family
Work commitments might prevent you from spending enough time with your family. It is necessary, however, to prioritize family time. The time spent with your loved ones can help you relax and unwind and feel yourself with positive energy. The following tips will help you make time for your family:
Set Priorities: Write a list of your priorities with family time first, even if it may require you to sacrifice some work activities. For instance, avoid working longer hours than required, and you will have enough time to spend with your family.
Schedule Family Time: Scheduling family time is just as necessary as your work schedule. Make time for your family regularly.
Plan Bonding Activities: Bonding activities will help reinforce the relationship with your family, especially children who benefit from spending time with their parents. Consider camping in your backyard, walking in the neighborhood, having a cookout, etc.
Be Present: When spending time with your loved ones, be present and involved, i.e. actively participate in conversations and joint activities. Switch off your phone or put it out of sight and focus on enjoying the moment.
A Final Thought
As a telecommuter, you may find it difficult to maintain a work-life balance, especially with an increasing number of personal and professional responsibilities. You may feel overwhelmed or even suffer from physical and mental issues.
The solution is to be found in setting a work schedule, establishing a home office space, prioritizing workplace tasks, keeping healthy routines, and bonding with your family. Remember, leading a balanced life is a choice and a continuous process that requires self-awareness and adaptability.