One of the biggest benefit of remote work is greater flexibility. With the ability to work remotely, employees can benefit by working from their homes and creating a flexible schedule to take care of work and personal responsibilities.
But with this flexibility sometimes comes increased pressure. If you’re working non-traditional hours, or if you’re not getting in face-time with your teammates every day, you might feel pressurised to spend more time online and working than you otherwise would in the office. Without coworkers around to remind you to take breaks, eat lunch, and leave the office for the day, remote workers might find themselves working for additional hours, and not having as much free time as they otherwise would.
In this post, we’ll offer some helpful work-life balance tips for remote workers. Whether you’re new to working from home or you’re a remote work pro, these tips will help you stay productive at work, while still leaving time each day for your friends, family, and what matters the most.
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance means establishing a stable way to work so that the time is properly divided between personal and professional activities. In simple terms, it means how much time is spent on work as compared to the time spent with the family, friends, and hobbies. Work-life balance is an important aspect leading to a successful and happy life.
Why is Work-Life Balance Important?
Poor work-life balance negatively impacts workers’ happiness and health. They become more stressed and feel less in control in their professional and personal lives. Those who have a good work-life balance are often less stressed and happier. When you’re happier you’re more likely to be more motivated, productive, and be able do better work.
Remote workers cite better work-life balance as one of the top reason they prefer working remotely. They have the ability to structure their workday so they can be their most productive, get their tasks done efficiently, and make time for activities outside of their work.
How to Balance Work and Life?
Finding work-life balance is all about prioritising. Proper planning and scheduling, time management, communication tools, and productivity techniques help you manage your workday so you can complete the tasks on your to-do list quicker. Here are some useful work-life balance tips for a healthy relationship between your professional and personal life.
Set a schedule and try to stick to it.
Working remotely offers you the flexibility to work from anywhere and it can sometimes feel like you need to be available anytime. If you’re working on a different schedule than the rest of your team members, this flexibility can sometimes hamper your work-life balance.
While you’re working remotely, try setting a schedule and adhere to it. This will be helpful for your team and for your own sense of work-life balance. This way, your team members will know exactly when they can and cannot reach out to you, and you’ll be able to plan your personal activities during your day outside of your work.
If things come up on a regular basis that require you to be available early or stay online later than those number of hours, that could be a good nudge for you to change your working hours to be available during that time while still being careful of using your personal time to recharge.
Use communication tools to indicate your online and offline hours.
Once you’ve setup a daily work schedule that makes sense for you and your team, use different tools to publicize your schedule so that your team members across different locations and time zones are respectful of that time.
Working from home can include setting your Slack availability so you don’t receive notifications before or after your working hours, and you can indicate your working hours on Google Calendar so that events taking place outside of your daily work schedule are declined automatically. Publicizing your hours helps your coworkers be more mindful of your personal time, and might send you an email or schedule a meeting with you instead of sending you a whole lot of Slack messages early in the morning or in the middle of the night.
Make plans for your after-work hours to ease balance fatigue.
If your living space and your workspace are the same place, it can be hard to step away from work at the end of the day, even after you’ve shut down your laptop and signed off. Sometimes it can feel like there isn’t a reason to log off at a certain time if you’re already working from a home office.
If you’re a remote worker seek a little more work-life balance, make plans for your after-work hours, and stick to them. Whether these plans include happy hour drinks with a friend or attending a workout class, if you have somewhere to be at the end of your workday, you’ll be more likely to actually sign off and stop working for the day.
Work in a space that’s distinct from the rest of your home.
Working from home can be a lot more distracting than working from your office. For one, you’re alone, without any coworkers nearby to motivate you to stay productive and busy throughout your day. For another, your home offers more distractions as compared to your office. If you work from your couch where you normally binge-watch your favorite series, you might get distracted halfway through the day.
Instead, work from a neat, distraction-free and clutter-free space in your home that’s specifically dedicated to work. Choose a spot where you’re able to work productively without any disctractions, and keep that space distinct from other parts of your home so you can unplug from work when you’re done.
Don’t cancel or move any of your meetings.
Don’t use working remotely as an excuse to be less productive or skipping your meetings. You might be tempted to move your meetings around so you’re able to hold them while you’re in the office, but that might just make your next day at work more challenging if you over-stuff your schedule. Instead, use video conferencing tools like google meets or zoom to hold live meetings from your home so you’re able to keep up with your workload even if you take advantage of working remotely.
Make sure to take a lunch break.
There are a lot of differences between working remotely and working from an office. By now you’ve discovered that the benefits of working from home even outweigh the benefits of working in an office.
When working in an office, you probably take a lunch break, maybe it was a lunch meeting with clients, or maybe you stepped out to the sandwich shop to pick up lunch.
Whichever it was, make sure that a lunch break is part of your daily schedule while working from home. In order to focus on work-life balance, focus also on having a specific time set specifically for a lunch break.
It is very difficult for employers to promote work-life balance amongst employees without affecting their productivity. Studies show that a flexible work environment leads to the betterment of an organization. Work-life balance is also becoming a priority for the current generation and employees don’t want to ignore their families and personal commitments. It is very important to allow employees time away from office hours and to help them achieve work-life balance.