Working from home? Use these tips to keep the work life balance between your working day and home life clear for less stress and a happier day to day.
Working from home is something that many more working people did during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, although less people work from home, it is still part of the way some companies are allowing employees to work. In some instances, there is a hybrid arrangement where a person works from home some days, and works from the office other days. Of course, for freelancers and entrepreneurs, working from home has been normal for a long time anyway.
Whatever your position is, the fact is that working from home, whilst it has its benefits, also has a lot of potential downsides or challenges. One such challenge is that it is hard to balance work life, and home life when you’re juggling those two things in the same building.
To help you, we have some top tips to get you feeling more balance with this tricky position:
Create Boundaries For Yourself And Your Family
Physical boundaries are useful, so if you can work in an office rather than the living room or kitchen you will find that simply being in that specific space for work makes a difference to that ability to ‘switch off’ when you ‘leave work’. Psychologically you can do the same with a desk in the bedroom or the corner of the living room. It is still a place you use for work, and a place you leave when work is over. If you need some extra space to do this, consider using cheap self storage for the extra furniture you don’t use. In fact, some people even use cheap self storage as an office space, which could be worth considering if you want a bit of time out of the house.
Another important boundary to make is letting the family know not to walk into your office unless it is an emergency. You should also agree not to go inside your office when you have agreed to dedicate personal time with your family.
Lastly, have some boundaries for yourself when it comes to work time. Put out of hours messages on and don’t be tempted to check your emails or work messages when you have officially signed off for the day. You don’t always have to be ‘on’ when you are at home.
Manage The Expectations Of Those You Work With/ For
Make sure that those you work with know when you are available and when you are not. Be clear that you will not reply out of hours and not to contact you outside of those times unless it is through email, where they will then see the out of hours message. If you start replying at all hours this sets a dangerous precedent and clients or employers may well expect that from you all the time. To be clear, this isn’t the same as making the effort to log in to work ten minutes early to get setup, or to stay an extra half an hour to get a job done well, which is good work ethics.
Have A ‘Going Home Song’
A famous radio show used a going home song that they played for listeners during their evening commute. It’s a really great way for you to psychologically switch off and know work is over for the day. The song can be whatever you want it to be – just be sure to play it once work is over. You can also do the same thing for when work begins too.
We all know the joys of working from home in pyjamas. Taking a conference call in jogging bottoms is one of the great joys the pandemic did bring. The problem is that if you are always in casual clothes for work, you don’t get to disconnect or distinguish from your work and your down time. To try and disconnect the two, why not have a few sets of ‘work clothes’ that you have that are only for work time. That way you can get changed when you finish and you’ll feel yourself physically relax.
Have One Diary For Plans
It helps to combine your work and personal diary so you can get an idea of how you balance your time. It also helps avoid double bookings.
What you may also want to do with your diary is allow some time just for yourself. Sometimes we feel burnt out because we either give our time to others, or to work and we forget that we need time to ourselves for some recharging. It could be a key reason you are feeling stressed and actually, if you allow some time for yourself as well as work and personal time, you may see you have a better balance overall.
The tips above can help you to find a better balance between your work and personal life when you work from home. If you still find that you are struggling, remember to speak to your employer for some advice and help. Working from home can be difficult for some people and luckily, employers know that and have lots of ways to help make things more comfortable for their employees – the first step is being brave enough to speak up and ask for help.