Remote workers are more likely to feel that they are working more hours every day (39%) compared with office-based workers (31%), according to slack. So, why do remote workers feel that they are working more than they would if they were at the office? And, how do we combat this problem to create a more balanced work-life environment for our remote and hybrid employees?
2020 made remote work the ‘new norm’ and adjusting to the work-from-home life while juggling personal issues, children, chores, etc. definitely took some getting used to. While we might think that we’re able to hop on Zoom calls and finish projects on the couch, burnout has crept up on many. Some have found it difficult to switch off at the end of the night, which can impact quality of work and takes a very real toll on physical and mental health.
Everybody is different. How one person defines “work-life balance” is different from another’s, but in general it centers around finding the right blend of work activities with your personal life – and being able to find an equilibrium that works best for you.
Tips to attaining a healthy work-life balance when you work from home:
- Stick to a routine and create boundaries
Create a schedule for your workday. This might involve working out in the morning before work, scheduling your specific work hours, and making sure to log off at the end of your day. Setting boundaries such as letting your coworkers, friends, and family members know when it’s the right time to chat with you during the day when you’re on a strict deadline is another way to make sure you can manage your day with as little added stress as possible.
- Take breaks and go for a walk
Getting some fresh air will keep you energized and refreshed. It’s important to take a few breaks every now and then to help you reset and recharge during the day. Taking a quick walk around the neighborhood is the best way to get a break from the computer and soak in some vitamin D.
- Bring back the “water-cooler”
Working from home can often make us feel lonely and disconnected. It could be a good idea to add some time in the calendar to connect with your coworkers and catch up on topics unrelated to work for a little bit. This time could be for you and your coworkers to talk about personal updates, your favorite streaming shows, or plans that you are looking forward to.
- Eat a proper lunch
Just like we would at the office, take a proper lunch break and eat a healthy meal. Skipping meals can make us feel lethargic and make us want to binge on unhealthy snacks instead. If you don’t have time to whip up a healthy meal, do some meal prepping the day or week before so you can be prepared during your designated lunch breaks.
- Make plans after work to help you unplug
Switching off is one of the hardest things to do when you work from home. If you are finding it hard to unplug, try to make plans with your partner or with a friend after work that you will stick to, so you not only have something to look forward to after work, but you are forced to switch off for the day.
- When on vacation, make sure to leave work at home
Leave your laptop at home and forget about your day job when you are on your vacation. Because remote work can be done from anywhere, many of us are forgetting to actually take time off and are opting to work on vacation instead. A vacation is taken for a reason and it’s important to take advantage of this time off and make sure you are enjoying every minute of it.
It’s important to make yourself a priority. Achieving balance with work and your personal life is an important way to accomplish this. Actively trying to maintain this balance will not only alleviate stress and improve other aspects of your personal life, but you will also become more productive and feel more refreshed when you’re working during the day.