Remote working is seeing an unprecedented rise across the United States, as post-COVID-19 workplaces turn to more agile business strategies that ensure business continuity. But adapting to a work from home arrangement can be difficult, especially for employees who have worked in physical offices all their lives. One of their biggest challenges is achieving work-life balance when the space they work in is also the space in which they live.
We provide some tips on how employees can separate their professional and personal lives, and thrive in both.
1. Physically separate your working area from your living area
Having separate spaces for your work area and living area makes it easier to compartmentalize these two aspects of your life. Working in bed might be tempting, but it can negatively impact your productivity and make it hard to disengage from work when your shift ends.
If you have a spare room, turn it into an office. If you don’t, convert a corner of your room or apartment into a workstation. Make sure that this area is well-lit, so you don’t damage your eyes while working. Also, get a desk or table of the right height and an ergonomic chair so you're always sitting comfortably while working. Most importantly, do not do non-work-related tasks in this space. When you eat lunch, for instance, move to the dining area.
2. Have a daily routine and stick to it
Routine is important. It can help ground a person during uncertain times or when they experience drastic changes in their life. If you used to go to the office, your morning routine may have consisted of waking up, eating breakfast, getting ready, and driving to work.
Now that you’re working from home, you can still have a similar routine to the one you had before the pandemic struck. Enjoy a cup of coffee, take a walk, or exercise for a bit before you sit down in front of your computer and start the day’s work.
3. Set your work hours
To grow in your personal life and achieve personal goals, do not let work encroach upon your free hours. Set your availability firmly and communicate your schedule to your team. They should also know what to expect should they message you outside of those hours. You may not be used to saying no to work, but before you are an employee, you are a person first. Make it a point to address only urgent matters when you’re off the clock.
4. Nurture a hobby that doesn’t involve gadgets or the internet
Remote workers often use their own devices to do their jobs, so even after they’ve technically logged off, they remain online and continue using the same gadgets they use for work. This might cause them to keep reading emails, replying to colleagues’ messages, or checking work-related apps — all of which still fall under the category “work.”
Avoid getting into this trap by unplugging yourself from the internet once in a while. Find and foster a hobby that doesn’t require gadgets. Learn how to play an instrument, for example. Bake pastries, plant a garden, or train for a triathlon — whatever it is, it’s up to you how to get away from cyberspace and find some “me time.”
5. Make after-work or weekend plans
Perhaps the best indicator that you’re achieving work-life balance is having a life outside work. The world is entering a new normal, so it’s perfectly fine if your plans are not as grand as they were before the pandemic. Even if your idea of “having a blast” consists of something as mundane as walking the dog or doing a weekly virtual catch-up with friends, plans are plans. Revek in them. They will help you recharge after a long day of facing your laptop and being confined to the four walls of your home.
Remote working poses a lot of challenges to employees, and SpectrumWise is here to make sure technology doesn’t add to the problem. We provide a wide array of IT solutions to businesses in Charlotte, so their workforce can do their jobs efficiently wherever they are. Learn more by calling us today.