A recent study showed that 53% of employees said that a job that allows them to have a better work-life balance and higher personal well-being is extremely important, and 60% of Human Resources professionals surveyed also ranked this as an extremely important job factor. (SurveyMonkey) Work-life balance has quickly become one of the most sought-after benefits for employees today. Professionals want to have time to spend with their families on top of succeeding at work. When you throw remote and hybrid work schedules into the mix, how can work-life balance be achieved or improved?
Working from home might seem like it would be easy to maintain a good work-life balance; however, in some cases working from home can make it even harder to “unplug,” take breaks and focus. The issue comes down to being able to set boundaries between home and work and manage stress to avoid getting burnt out by taking on too much at once.
7 Easy Tips to Help Improve Work-Life Balance
When you are working from home or have a hybrid schedule, here are some helpful ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Tip #1: Minimize distractions
Working from home is a gateway for distractions. It’s easy to think about all the chores that need to be done, the phone calls from friends and family, and other non-work-related things that impact your ability to focus on work. The first step to overcoming distractions during the day is to identify what these distractions are and turn them into rewards for staying focused on work during the day instead. For example: “If I get this report done, I can spend 10 minutes of my lunch break responding to friends’ texts.” Limit the use of your phone for personal messages or social media during the workday. Maintain a to-do list with priorities and other tasks, and set goals to accomplish them daily and weekly.
Tip #2: Take breaks
You must get movement in during the day. Research shows that staying stationary – whether sitting or standing – for long periods of time, can be bad for your health. Adding in movement during the day will help reduce stress, increase blood flow, clear your mind and keep you in a good mood. If you have a dog, use this as an excuse to take a short 10-minute walk outside to get some fresh air. Breaks help to rejuvenate and recharge your mind and body. Keep moving – even if that means pacing around your home or for a few minutes to move around.
Tip #3: Eat healthy meals
We are definitely lucky to live in a time where we can get food delivered with a few clicks on our phones. However, we must be conscious of the decisions we make. When eating during the week, especially during lunch, stick with healthy alternatives and avoid junk food. Additionally, it could be a good idea to cook up something quick and easy or start meal prepping during the week, so you have something healthy ready for the day. Lunch breaks are essential so use this time to fuel yourself with something nutritious for your body and mind.
Tip #4: Follow a routine
Don’t grab your laptop and start work in bed in the morning. Create a routine just as you would if you were going into an office. Whether it’s working out in the morning or making breakfast. Create a routine that works for you where you are incorporating all your rituals to prepare for the workday. Keeping a routine will help you stay on track with your day and will help you avoid feeling like you’re in a slump all day at home. Most importantly, do not work in bed all day and avoid lazing on the couch as well.
Tip #5: Unplug and switch off
Stick to your work hours. This means unplugging at the end of the day to get back to your family or personal matters. Sometimes, work might spill over, but avoid overworking yourself. Time management is key to staying on track. Focus on your projects and try to keep a balance with your work hours. You don’t want to neglect your health for the sake of completing a few extra tasks that can wait.
Tip #6: Have a dedicated workspace
If possible, have a dedicated work area – even if it’s a desk in your kitchen or guest room – that’s away from your bedroom. Having an area that is dedicated to working will help you feel like you are at work and will keep you focused during the day. Invest in a nice table, comfortable chair and anything else that will support good posture.
Tip #7: Exercise during the week
Exercise is good for the mind and body. You must exercise during the week – whether it’s before or after your work hours. Exercise helps reduce stress and improves focus, which is especially important when things get especially busy at work. Simple things such as walks or even following a workout video on YouTube will suffice. Additionally, add in some simple stretches during the day to improve circulation and avoid cramps. All of this becomes part of your routine and creates healthy habits that will benefit you overall.
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