While many might hail work from home (WFH) as the best thing to happen during the pandemic, industry experts believe it is just a passing phase, and will soon fizzle out, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic subside. It is hard to ignore the many benefits of Work From Home — no time wasted in traffic, you don’t have to waste money because you do not have to step out and you can also stay close to your family at all times. However, for all these benefits, there is one big downside — there is no work-life segregation. Since we are always online, it feels like we are always working, which means we have less time for ourselves, as well as our family. This pattern can lead to severe emotional and psychological health concerns, therefore, one has to be always mindful to draw a prominent line between their professional lives and their private ones.
Here are seven ways to create a better work-life balance while working from home.
Create a Schedule and Set Boundaries
Even if your employer does not have a firm schedule, creating a regular plan can help you manage productivity and reduce some of the stress that comes from working all the time. Fix your work hours and log off at the end of your programmed workday so you can concentrate on other things.
When your work hours have a start and an end, you can more efficiently set limits with your family, colleagues, and manager.
Give Yourself Breaks
Once people become comfortable working from home, they usually move from task to task and lose track of time, skipping breaks like they would in an office. Going from task to task with no time to ponder and regroup does not let your body or brain work efficiently. So learn to give yourself time between outputs.
Give ten minutes reflecting on a meeting, take a 15-minute break with your family, or go for a walk around the block. And don’t be enticed to look at your phone or answer an email through this time. You’ll feel renewed and reconnected with the life around you.
Recreate the Watercooler Moments
Plan 10 minutes per day to chat with colleagues by Slack, Zoom, or any other communication tool about non-work stuff.
Whether you’re speaking about your newest favorite streaming show or trading healthy meal recipes, social support and relationships can help you decompress and build connections.
Get Fresh Air
Studies reveal that breathing fresh air leads to more reliable decision making, higher test scores, increased information processing, and it’s a beautiful way to support your emotional wellbeing.
It’s simple to stay cooped up in your home office all day, but make sure to go outside for some fresh air or crack open a window whenever you can.
Make Time for Yourself
Setting out time to take care of yourself will balance your day, give you the stamina, and focus on taking on the following task with your mind renewed. Prioritize exercise, hobbies, or meditation practice, anything that makes you happy and peaceful and will positively affect your ability to obtain a better work-life balance when you work from home.
Take a break from the news
It’s great to be informed on current affairs, but try not to spend too much time on news updates. Constant exposure to negative news can raise your stress and anxiety, and take your mind out of your job.
There might be times when taking breaks and having the best-laid plans to take care of yourself are still not sufficient. It’s natural to be worried about the state of things right now, like your family, your well-being, and the economy. Just recognize that your mental health is essential too. Don’t be scared to reach out to a family member, buddy, colleague, or human resources team member for support and help.