Achieving the perfect work-life balance when working from home has become a quest for many, judging by the amount of posts on Linkedin. From dealing with Japanese murder hornets to the subjecting yourself to watching early morning rugby league games, finding that work-life home balance has become the punchline for 2020. The new normal of work and play all under one roof has seen the line between work and home become increasingly blurred.
The lack of a travel routine and time with work colleagues has seen many struggle to separate work commitments from home life. While many of use to joke about the idea of working in our pyjamas, many have been questioning is this really a good thing?
While the reality is that most of us will be stuck in some type of work from home arrangement for some time yet, developing a healthy work-life balance is essential in helping you avoid burning out.
With some practice developing some healthy habits can take the stress out of working from home and give you back that much needed family time.
Stick to a routine
While you may not be heading to the office, its important to develop a routine that will give you some purpose. Starting your day with some light exercise and a healthy breakfast is a step in the right direction. It sounds simple, but millions of people working in this new niche have struggled to get their day off to the right start. Starting the day right will keep you a little more productive. At the end of the day, stick to a consistent finish time. Once you’re done at the end of the day, turn off the laptop and don’t go back
Make some time to get outside
There’s no better way than to get refreshed during the day than getting outside. While it may be fun sitting around in sweat pants all day, that work at home niche can quickly become stale. Getting outside for at least thirty minutes a day will lift the spirits and boost the creativity. Put some time in your diary at the beginning or the end of the day and don’t be afraid to share that blocked out time with your colleagues.
Hide the tech
Out of sight is definitely out of mind. Once you have finished at the end of the day, make the effort to clear out the home office and hide the laptop. Working from home has taught us that people will feel guilty about that email or PowerPoint presentation. Don’t fall into the trap of running back to the laptop during your family time.
Disconnecting from work can be extremely hard in the age of technology. Some of us long for the days of analogue tech. The age of social media, iPhones and TikTok means that we are now more connected to work than we have ever been. While some of us cannot live without our smart phone, you need at some point to avoid work emails after hours and turn off the phone.
Staying connected to friends and family is the perfect way to help achieve a healthy work-life balance. Its one of the few occasions that technology will remain your friend when it comes to staying in touch with loved ones. Schedule in time for personal calls on WhatsApp or Zoom. Take advantage of free online courses and networking opportunities. You may not be able to get out of the house, but it doesn’t mean you have to live like Ted Kaczynski.
Keep the weekend free
The golden rule when working from home is to keep your weekends free. Under no circumstances should you be working over the weekend. Take the time to relax and treat yourself to a binge session on Netflix. The rule is not to let work run your life seven days per week.
Don’t put a price on your relationships
Remember the situation isn’t normal and for some it has been a massive transition. Being around your family 24/7 isn’t an ideal situation and it can get tough when kids are at home as well. While home schooling will give you an appreciation of your kid’s teacher, bear in mind you have to be prepared that relationships will come under pressure.
Don’t put a price on relationships with family and loved ones and while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the virtual office life, it’s just as important to jump in and help with family. Work will eventually get you back to the office, but its important that you take the time tap out and recognise that you need to spend some time with the people who matter most.