Thanks to the digital advancement today, we have transitioned into remote working seamlessly in the past 5 months. Working from home was believed to be a temporary solution to the pandemic, but it looks like it’s going to stay here for a long time. With companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon advising their employees to work from home permanently, it’s the right time to dive into understanding how to embrace and create work-life balance while working from home.
CREATING WORK-LIFE BALANCE
The boundaries between your personal and professional lives start to blur when you work from home. While working from home, you’ll find yourself multitasking and coping with work, home, and family demands. This puts immense pressure on your working capacity, leading to stress and lowers your productivity.
Finding a healthy routine and work-life balance when working from home can feel incredibly challenging. It’s hard to focus on work when you are juggling numerous tasks and feel like you are being pulled in all directions throughout the day!
To overcome the stress and overwhelm, especially during these unprecedented times, we need to come up with a solid routine that’ll help us take back control of our day.
TIPS TO CREATE WORK-LIFE BALANCE
What you wear has a direct influence on how you feel. Getting dressed to go nowhere might seem facetious, but having a work-appropriate dress will help you get into the right mindset. Working in your pajamas on the couch sure does sound great, but this will eventually cause burn out and harm your productivity.
One of the best things about working from home is having a flexible schedule. But this can also become a productivity roadblock because you end up being on call 24/7, especially if you are someone who works at a different schedule to that of your team!
A great tip to overcome this is to create a fixed schedule and stick to it. Creating regular and consistent daily work patterns helps with lowering your stress levels and increasing your productivity.
For example, have a fixed time for your lunch and take a break from work. We don’t do this very often and end up having lunch whilst working on our laptop. This downtime will allow you to recharge your batteries and help you be productive during your work hours.
Having a space dedicated to work is a good idea. First, this will help you draw a clear line between where you work and where you live. During this pandemic, our personal and professional lives have suddenly become so enmeshed that this kind of differentiation will help us reduce the blur between the two.
To help overcome this, try having a “work” zone and a “work-free” zone at home. Make sure you shut the work zone and “commute” happily to the work-free zone at the end of the day. This will boost your productivity and give you a much-needed brain break!
With everyone following social distancing etiquette, you may not be able to socialize with friends and family as much, but this shouldn’t stop you from taking a break from work and connecting with people. Call that friend you’ve always wanted to catch up with, video chat with family, or have a virtual coffee with a colleague.
Your gym is most likely closed due to COVID 19, but you can still get the exercise you need and stay active. Make exercise a part of your everyday schedule, as this has a positive effect on your mental and physical state.
Why not start with simple stretching exercises or do some yoga? How about going for a run in the morning or Zumba to your favorite song? Any kind of physical activity can make a huge difference in how you feel and productive you are.
DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT
The hardest part of working from home is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It’s hard to know when to work and when to take a break. It’s because we are overwhelmed with the stress of having to be present for everyone – work, partner, kids, etc.
Our use of social media constantly distracts us and we end up working extended periods producing low quality work.
To overcome overwhelm and improve our productivity, we must take a little time off to disconnect ourselves from chaos. This helps us press the “reset” button and stay fresh. While it may seem impossible to disconnect from work when we have numerous deadlines to hit, these moments of rest will help us avoid burnout and stress.
Simple activities like getting up every hour to grab a glass of water, making coffee, listening to a quick podcast, or going to the garden for some fresh air will help you disconnect from work momentarily.
Or why not try the “Pomodoro Technique” where you work for 25-30 minutes on a task and take a break for 5 minutes. Four Pomodoro sessions can represent a productive morning or afternoon. It’s surprising to see how productive one can be in short bursts of focused work!
CREATING WORK-LIFE BALANCE
With many companies looking to operate remotely in the future, it’s time that we embrace the work from home culture. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important for our well-being, productivity, and morale.
With a little planning, perseverance, and good habits, it is possible to have a successful professional career and a fulfilling personal life. We must learn how to prioritize and make mindful decisions, both at work and at home.
It starts with taking one small step a day- then add another and another. Imagine yourself being an athlete who’s training for the Olympics. It takes a concerted effort to achieve a result, and in this case – a perfectly harmonious work life.
Author: Sneha Sadasivan