No matter how many employers protest otherwise, working from home isn’t going anywhere. While this has provided plenty of benefits, such as reducing emissions from commuting or removing victims from a toxic work environment, we still need time to adjust and learn how to thrive in our new work environments. Here are a few tips for achieving a healthy work-life balance.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The biggest problem with working from home is that it’s tough to separate your work from your private life. When it’s in your home, it’s always there and always at the forefront of your mind. The best way to give yourself some peace of mind in your free time is to put a bit of distance between yourself and your work—whether that be setting up your work in the farthest possible room or putting your laptop away in a drawer at the end of the day.
If you have the yard space for it, build a backyard office shed; that way, you have an office that’s physically separated from your home life, but you still have all the benefits of working from home.
While this may seem like an obvious tip for achieving a healthy work-life balance, being in the familiarity and comfort of your home can lead to temptation and distraction. Whether this is a television on in the background or your hobbies tantalizingly close, taking the time to ensure you have removed such distractions is the key to focusing during work hours.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a workaholic, there’s a strange temptation or compulsion to continue working even when you finish for the day. It’s vital that you set hard boundaries for yourself and stop working when it’s time to clock out so that you don’t burn yourself out or constantly feel like you should be working.
Lastly, and most importantly, prioritize yourself. Fear of losing your job or wanting to impress your superiors may spur you to try and overachieve, but your health needs to come first. Take your lunch break and a few smaller breaks throughout the day. You’ll feel more refreshed and productive when you do so. If you feel ill, don’t be afraid to call in sick despite working from home. You can’t perform at your best if you’re always feeling bad.