2 Simple Tips to Ensure You Can Maintain Work Life Balance When Working From Home
Right now, more Americans — perhaps even more workers globally — are working from home than ever before. While the option to work remotely or telecommute has become more common for many independent contractors and employees in recent years, with the challenges and restrictions that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s becoming widely prevalent.
For some, at first, this may have seemed like a small, single shining point in this whole sad crisis. Yet, what many of those same people are finding is a very different reality.
Often, people only idealize or even fantasize about the benefits of “working from home.” They think the flexibility and “freedom” of working from home will be “fun.” Or they dream about the zero-mile commute and how much time that will save them in their day for personal pursuits. Sometimes, they even think they will get more done in less time and can shave a little time off their workday for activities they find more pleasurable.
But is that the reality they’re now experiencing? Most likely, many of those same people who once loved the idea of working from home, or who were jealous of those who were able to — or did — work from home, are finding that it isn’t quite exactly what they imagined.
What a good percentage of those who are now working from home are discovering, is that maintaining work-life balance when working from home can be extremely difficult and for a percentage, it can feel impossible.
So, how do you keep your life in balance when working from home? Here are two simple tips that will make a world of difference in the way you view working from home and will help you keep a work-life balance too!
1) You need to treat the day itself like any other workday.
When working from home, you need to get up at your normal work time and dress and groom yourself as if you are going into the office. This does a couple of different things.
First, it keeps you on a schedule so that if and when you return to the office setting, settling back in will not be so difficult.
Second, it helps you to feel and act in a more professional manner, helping to ensure you do your best work. Last, it also helps you to “walk away” when the workday is over and transition back into using your home (and attention/focus) for your personal well-being and growth.
2) You should have a dedicated office space.
One of the worst things you can do — that will make it very difficult to maintain a work-life balance — when working from home, is to make “everywhere” your office. Your couch shouldn’t be “your office.” Your bed shouldn’t be “your office.” These are places where you normally go to relax and unwind from the workday—to forget about work, and to focus on you and your family and relationships. If you begin to use these “personal” spaces for work, where will you go to relax?
Furthermore, working from a place that is normally meant for peace and non-work activities, makes it harder to just STOP WORKING and separate yourself from continuing to do work, or even focus on work. Soon, you will find your overall stress increase because you literally, won’t be able to “…get away from work,” at all!
Instead, you should designate a single space —ideally, an office, but alternately a table and chair in a corner of a room that wouldn’t be somewhere you would typically go to “unwind.” And of course, somewhere you can walk away from when the workday is done.