4 Ways to Manage Life While Working from Home
Enhanced flexibility is a huge benefit of remote work. Working from the comfort of their own homes, remote work employees can set a schedule that aligns with their professional and personal commitments.
With flexibility, however, comes a new set of challenges. Without a physical office space and coworkers to interact with, remote workers may feel the need to put in extra hours and stay connected online far beyond the standard forty-hour work week to stay on top of their tasks. This unintended overtime may leave little time for leisure activities.
In this post, we'll offer some helpful work-life balance tips for remote workers. Whether you're new to working from home or a remote-work pro, these tips will help you stay productive at work while still leaving time each day for your friends, family, and personal interests.
Know when to disconnect
The beauty of a work-from-home arrangement is that you have a wide latitude of flexibility. The potential challenge of total flexibility is being able to turn it off. No one can be “on” 24x7. Humans need variety and downtime to recharge and revitalize for the next day’s work. Burnout is a very real hazard to the work-from-anywhere lifestyle.
In the traditional work environment, the comings and goings of coworkers acted as a signal to start and stop working. When colleagues simply pop on and off an online collaboration tool or jump in and out of text threads, it’s harder to get a sense of when the virtual office is “open” for business and when it’s time to knock off for the day.
To prevent burnout, it's important to establish clear boundaries between work and personal time. Create a routine that allows for plenty of rest and relaxation. This might mean setting specific work hours and sticking to them, taking breaks throughout the day, and making time for activities that you enjoy outside of work.
All those walks from the parking lot to your office, the trips and and down the stairs between meetings, and the journeys to the water cooler and the break room added up in your forty-hour week at the brick-n-mortar office. When you work from home, however, you can easily spend most of your day sitting at a desk or on the couch, which can have negative effects on your physical health.
Therefore, it's crucial to find ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine. This could be as simple as taking frequent breaks to stretch or perform a quick workout. You may think about modifying your workspace to allow for standing or walking while working. Investing in a standing or treadmill desk is a worthwhile option if you're able to do so. Additionally, prioritizing regular exercise outside of work, such as going for a walk or engaging in a physical activity you enjoy, can improve your well-being and mood. By intentionally introducing movement into your daily routine, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle while working from home.
Build transition ceremonies into and out of work
You used to have to commute to get to work, whether it was driving your car, carpooling, or riding the train or bus. The commute was a transition period at the beginning and ending of each day.
To address the lack of natural transition time, establish a routine that helps you mentally prepare for work and also wind down at the end of the day. This routine could include going for a jog, practicing mindfulness techniques, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee before starting work. Similarly, you could plan an activity or ritual to signal the end of the workday, such as shutting down your computer or practice some yoga moves.
Unless you are a winter caretaker at Yellowstone National Park, you’re probably accustomed to regular human interactions during your work day. Whether you are in a meeting, eating lunch in the company cafeteria, or simply walking the halls, you run into people, and you usually at least exchange greetings if not carry on a conversation. Even if you are talking only about the weather, interactions with other people are essential to mental and emotional health. We humans are wired to be social beings.
You can make time during the day to chat with loved ones or schedule virtual hangouts after work to catch up and share experiences. You might also consider joining online communities or groups that align with your interests or hobbies to meet new people and build connections. Even better, consider connecting with an in-person social activity, like a book club, a bowling league, or a cooking class.
Working from home offers many benefits, such as flexibility and increased productivity. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges, such as managing time and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By implementing the four tips discussed above, you can successfully manage your life while working from home.
Remember that the key is to find what works best for you and your unique circumstances. Experiment with different strategies and adjust as needed to find the right balance that allows you to be productive, take care of yourself, and enjoy the many benefits of remote work. With some effort and intentionality, you can create a fulfilling and rewarding work-from-home experience.
Remote work situations are particularly abundant in the tech industry. To acquire the skills and knowledge for remote tech work, check out Remotemode’s exceptional career preparation programs. We offer remote courses designed to prepare you to succeed in a remote tech work environment. Reach out to a Remotemode career advisor today to learn more.
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