Working Remotely: How to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
4 years ago

With the pandemic forcing people to distance from each other, more and more employees are moving their office space to the Internet. Home offices have become a new normal worldwide, and many people are quite happy with that. After all, there’s no need to commute or dress formally, and no one’s watching you all the time.

However, while working from home definitely has its perks, it can also be frustrating and difficult at times. If you’re a remote worker yourself, you probably know it too well, struggling to keep your personal life separate from all the tasks and projects. Having kids and other responsibilities makes it even harder than it already is.

The pandemic and being locked in at home for most of the week can take a toll on your mental health. In these cases, you might want to browse the web for the best self-help books to read today. They’ll help you take a sober look at your predicament and sort out a way to handle these tough times with a positive attitude.

So, what else can you do to stay sane in this daily chaos? How do you maintain a healthy balance while working remotely?

Develop a Routine

If you feel like your day is a mess, it’s high time you structured it. Plan and prioritize your activities, and write them all down. Group your tasks into work, family, and leisure-related boxes. This will help you reduce the interference of other tasks when you work from home.

The transition from ‘private mode’ back to the working one and vice versa is also important. Try to think of something that could help you get ready for work or reset your brain when you finish the day. It can be something as simple as going for a walk, drinking a cup of coffee, or listening to your favorite song. Pick a habit and try to stick to it.

Arrange Your Workspace Properly

Some people are able to work from any place, including their bedroom, kitchen, or even kids’ room. However, not everyone can do that. If you find it hard to focus on the job, move to a place away from the busiest and loudest parts of your house. Also, make sure to keep it well-organized and more office-like. Stay away from all the distractors (e.g., the TV) and things that remind you of your non-work responsibilities. This way you will get into work mode more easily.

And what if you don’t have much space and can’t afford to create a home office? Well, you can still separate your private space from the working area by subtle changes in your environment. For instance, create a new account on your computer and use it exclusively for your job duties. Even putting your laptop on the desk while at work instead of keeping it on your lap might help. Find a trick that works best for you and stick to it.

Let Others Know You’re at Work

If you share your house with other people, it’s vital to make sure they understand your situation. Just because you’re physically home doesn’t mean you will take care of everything else or have the time for a chat. Talk to your partner, kids, or flatmates and discuss what they can and can’t do during this time. Making it clear to others will help you focus on what you need to do and worry less about other needs.

Setting up those rules is especially crucial for parents. Young kids may struggle to accept their mum or dad can’t be there for them all the time and get sad or angry as a result. To avoid such situations, take your time to explain everything as clearly as you can while ensuring your children you still care about them. Don’t feel bad for drawing the line – it will help you be more energetic and less frustrated during family time. Your beloved ones will appreciate it, too.

Give Yourself a Break

Remember you’re not a robot but a human being – you still need to relax and take care of your own needs. While planning your schedule, make sure to find enough time for a break. Don’t forget to eat or get some fresh air when necessary. Most importantly, allow yourself to feel the way you do. All your emotions are valid, even those we consider negative and unwanted. It’s completely fine to feel overwhelmed and tired – working remotely isn’t an easy task. Try to accept it and don’t push yourself too hard.

Mental health is as vital as your physical health, so don’t neglect it. Even if you work from home, keep in touch with your co-workers and friends – social support has a positive impact on your wellbeing. Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed; it’s not shameful to share your emotions, needs, and worries with others. And if that’s not enough for you, try talking to a mental health professional.

The Bottom Line

Although it is a challenge to keep your work-life balance healthy, even minor changes in your habits and environment can help. There are many ways to make remote work easier and more comfortable without sacrificing your personal life. If you apply all those tips in your life, you’ll be both a better worker and a happier person. The ones you care about will also appreciate you adding more structure into your life — after all, they will benefit from your better mood, as well!

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