Working From Home: Finding a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Many of us dream of an idealistic life working from home, free from the daily commute and the endless battles over air-con. Those who work remotely, however, have come to learn that home working is not quite as perfect as it may initially appear. They often find themselves unable to separate work from their private life and end up with very little time to themselves. If this sounds familiar, read on for some great work from home tips that will help you to achieve a better work-life balance.
The importance of defining boundaries
Having a defined workspace, no matter how small, is important to your mental health if you plan to work at home. However, it’s not possible for everyone to have a fancy dedicated home office – particularly those who have been thrown into home working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If it comes down to making the best of the space you have, try making a physical boundary, perhaps using books, a lamp, or boxes. Returning to that same workspace each day will become routine, and you’ll learn to associate work with just one area of your home. If you live with others, ensure they’re aware of and respect your defined workspace too.
Stick to a schedule
To maintain a healthy work-life balance, it’s essential that you set definite workdays and define strict working hours for yourself. We’re all human and none of us can – or should – stay productive 24/7.
As a home worker, it’s very easy to slip into the routine of answering your work emails at all hours of the day and night. But it’s important to remember that you’d never have been expected to do this at the office. So, make sure you have scheduled working time, and don’t let that spill over into your personal life.
Talk to your colleagues
Working from home full time can be pretty isolating at times, particularly if you live alone. If you’re used to a work environment full of colleagues and you miss the social interaction, set aside a few minutes each day to video chat with them. If you have the ability, you could even set up some team meetings.
There are plenty of helpful tools available these days to help you stay in touch remotely. Google Hangouts can be a great means to see work colleagues for a quick chat. For something a bit more formal, XSplit Broadcaster has a live interactive whiteboard function, ideal for brainstorming sessions with the team.
Make time to connect with friends and family members
One of the best ways to reduce stress throughout the working day is to speak to someone you love. On a tough day full of deadlines, seeing the smiling faces of your friends and family can be enough to turn your day around. If you find yourself having to use a clunky old laptop without a webcam, the XSplit Connect: Webcam app can quickly and seamlessly turn your phone into a wireless webcam, ideal for video conferencing or, perhaps, more importantly, checking out your nephew’s new puppy!
If you have kids, do make sure they know when you’re working and unavailable to play, but also ensure that you pencil in some time just for them. It doesn’t need to be hours – sometimes a fifteen-minute game or reading a short book together will leave you both feeling connected and perhaps even more relaxed.
We’re lucky that technology exists to help us through the stress of being stuck indoors. Even those who have been working from home for some time can make changes by incorporating the above tips. Remember, although you now work from home, you also need to make time to play!