If you are new to working from home, you may feel that work never stops. You feel like you cannot escape work and have more pressure to be productive.
Millions of Canadians found themselves suddenly adjusting to working from home at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance, even when your office and home are the same. Here are some tips for working from home.
Set Up Your Home Office
If you find yourself working from the couch, from your bed, or from various rooms around the house: stop. By not having a dedicated workspace, you can become easily distracted. It is also easier to mentally separate “work mode” and “play mode” if you have a space where you “go to work.”
Even if you have a one-room apartment, you can still have part of your living space dedicated to work. Tell yourself that you will only plug into work when you are in your designated work area.
Set Boundaries Between Work and Play
You may feel like you are working more hours than ever when you are working from home. Unless your job function has drastically changed, you are allowing the convenience of your workspace to lead to more hours. Putting in long hours will lead to burnout.
Instead, plan for an activity to immediately follow your workday. Whether it is FaceTime with a friend or a family game, make sure to step away from your computer at the end of the day.
Eat Right and Have an Exercise Routine
It can be tempting to snack all day long when your home office is only a short walk from your refrigerator. Make sure that you eat a proper lunch and have intentional snacks, rather than constantly grazing.
Exercise reduces stress and lifts mood. Use working from home to your advantage to stretch, lift weights, or do yoga to break up your workday.
Being immobile affects you physically and mentally. Move around during the day, such as standing up or going for a walk.
Understand That Productivity Looks Different
Remember that working from home often removes some barriers to productivity that exist in the office. You won’t have the chit-chat or office politics to get in the way of your work. Recognize that you are likely more productive working from home.
You can have more productivity in your home life as well. Breaks in your day can include throwing a load of laundry into the washing machine or paying bills. There is no reason that you can’t use access to your home life to your advantage.
Maintaining Your Work-Life Balance
It may feel like you are juggling more with the barrier between work and home removed. Even with planned separation, you may feel like the two are always intertwined. By focusing on these tips, you can maintain work-life balance – and even take some good habits back to the office if you return.