Tips for separating work life and home life when working remotely
By now we are all familiar with the goal of a harmonious work-life balance. We hear about the benefits and in truth we know that we need to do to achieve it. But in reality, working from home, or working remotely can blur that line between when work ends and life begins.
Today we discuss the importance of work life balance and ways in which you can make the separation between work and home life.
“Can you imagine what I could do with my time if I wasn’t commuting to the office?”
Prior to the Pandemic, countless commuters dreamed of hitting the snooze button and enjoying a leisurely breakfast before strolling to their laptops at 9am. When Covid-19 arrived and accelerated remote working, most of us (naturally) were unprepared for this new dynamic in our homes. Bedrooms became offices, the kitchen table our desk, and all of a sudden, the office was inescapable. Lines were blurred and soon we were answering emails over breakfast and taking meetings while getting the kids’ lunch. Our much sought-after work-life balance, was in truth completely unbalanced.
The benefits of remotely working are of course fantastic, but like anything require some planning. Most people are excited about the chance of a more flexible schedule, less time in the car, more time with family, and focusing on hobbies. Remote working also opens the door of opportunity to pursue a career that other wise would be impossible without travelling to the CBD or living in a major city. The other side of the coin, is managing to separate our personal and professional lives when they are intertwined in the same physical location. By making a concentrated effort into proactively setting some boundaries between the two, you can improve both elements and increase productivity too.
Let’s examine the benefits:
Increase in Productivity
Setting clear timelines for work tasks motivates you to increase productivity. Without the hard deadline of a clocking out time or commute, it is easy to let a task drag on into the evening. Haven’t you ever had a job that you know should only take 2 hours, but somehow the entire afternoon slips by? By not wrapping up tasks within your designated working day, you eat into personal and family time. The to-do list piles up, and all sense of balance is lost!
Where possible, having a workstation away from the distractions of home life, can really make a difference to focus and productivity. Try to move away from the kitchen table – whether this is a desk in another room, or a dedicated coworking hub near your home.
In the modern workplace, stress and burnout are common health risks, which impact all areas of your personal and professional life. By prioritizing a healthy work life balance, you can work smarter, not longer. Aim to keep set working hours, close the laptop and leave your work phone at your desk. Get out into the fresh air after work, play some music, cook healthy food – make the effort to disconnect from the work mindset and take value in your personal time.
Prioritizing Health & Wellbeing
Finding a greater work-life balance gives you more control over your schedule, allowing you to make more time for healthy habits such as exercise, meditation, and hobbies.
Home Life Bliss
By unblurring the lines, you are naturally less stressed and more energized. Improved time management skills will allow you to be truly present during your home life and more engaged with personal projects and passions.
Striking a balance can be easier said than done. Try to incorporate the below tips into your routine, and take steps towards a more sustainable and enjoyable work/life balance:
- Communicate your working hours clearly with colleagues and clients, and try not to respond to non-urgent emails and calls outside of those core hours
- Keep track of how you are spending your time and see where improvements can be made to ensure optimum productivity and time balance.
- Manage your Online Meetings. Virtual meetings fatigue is real! Try to reduce the length and frequency of meetings. Ensure you have a clear agenda and goal for the call. This will give you more time to complete tasks and catch up on other work.
- Separate devices for work and personal use. If you don’t have separate devices, then at least try to have a separate user login for each.
- Find a dedicated workspace outside of your home. Whether it is full time, or even a couple of days per week, renting a hot desk or private office in your local coworking hub is an excellent way of separating your work life and home life. Free from the distractions that surround you when working from home, basing yourself in a coworking hub gives you a physical and mental boundary between both aspects of your life, and helps improve time management. There is also the added bonus of meeting like-minded, professional people for some much-needed social connection.
If you would like some information on HQCoworking’s range of hubs in Kerry & West Limerick, contact us and we will be happy to help! We even offer Day Pass options so you can dip your toes into the world of coworking and see if it is right for you!