7 ways to improve your work-life balance when working from home
29th April 2020
While working from home, the physical boundaries between your personal and work life can be affected. Even if you are organised and have worked well to separate your work life and personal life, it can still be difficult to successfully manage your career and a household at the same time and in the same space, especially if you are raising a family.
While it may not be possible to completely draw the line between work and personal life, there are ways to make this divide lasting and more effective. Here at Kays Medical, we have a few tips to improve your work-life balance while at home.
When working in an office, part of your normal routine is to change into your work attire before you go to work. This sets a professional attitude that helps you feel more professional while at work. Getting changed into work attire or close to it while working from home is fundamental as it can change your attitude and help the personal and work divide become more defined. While getting changed into a suit or heels may be a bit excessive, we still recommend getting changed into clothes you would usually wear outside of the home to create a professional mindset while at home.
Getting dressed is also important as the way you dress can affect the way you feel, and it may also help you make your home feel like more of a work environment, which can improve your productivity.
2.Create and maintain your workspace
Designating your work to an office area or a certain space in your home can help maintain a work attitude, much like getting properly dressed, this can also create a more productive and dedicated work environment.
It is critical to set aside your workplace from a place like your bedroom or lounge area as they can be a distraction and lead you to become unproductive. You should treat leaving your bedroom and entering your assigned work area like you treat leaving the house for your commute to work, but you should also have a business free zone in your house where you can maintain your personal life and relax after a hard day at work. Kays Medical recommends setting up workspaces in guest bedrooms, office areas, renovated garages, or your dining room table, as these areas will provide minimal distractions while working and will help maintain a professional environment.
Working from home can create a disconnect in the usual work structure and within the team. Communicating with team members while working at home is important and can help to maintain the social aspect of your work life. If your business is using apps like zoom to stay in touch, join in with the conversation or arrange a call, this can increase the team’s morale, create a better work atmosphere and also make your work environment feel more real as your staying in contact with colleagues as you normally would whilst in the office.
4.Focus on specific tasks during specific times
Whilst working at home, it can be hard to give your full attention to just one thing, whether it’s work or home related. When working from home we can get distracted easily with housework that needs doing or wanting to spend time with the kids. It can, therefore, be helpful to set yourself priorities and allot a certain period for work tasks and home tasks. The time may vary depending on different tasks but setting yourself a specific period to complete a task can help you to divide your time more effectively.
Setting yourself certain periods to do work can help the work and personal divide as you know that you can do house chores or have family time, but only once you have completed your tasks.
Another obstacle that is often mentioned when talking about working from home is the feeling of being trapped in your own home. While working from home, if you don’t have any urgent tasks outside of work, you could end up being copped up in your house for days on end.
Although the normal distractions of work are not there, it is still important to take breaks from work to balance your work and personal life. If you don’t you can find yourself working non-stop for long periods which may be good for your work life, but it isn’t healthy or beneficial for your personal life. Whilst working from home it is important to leave the house for exercise or to get some fresh air to improve your mental health and balance out your work and personal life.
5.Turn off your work
It is important to learn how to turn off your work while working from home, although being connected and interacting with colleagues is important, it is equally important to shut off when you finish your day at work. If you are available to everyone at all hours of the day this will quickly become the norm and people will expect this 24/7, and your work and personal balance will be non-existent.
Letting your colleagues know your work hours is important and you should also request theirs. This increases the work-like atmosphere whilst working from home, but also betters the balance between personal and work as you know you can switch off after a certain time.
Create an alternate email for after-hours queries and tell colleagues and clients to only use this address if an emergency arises. This can help to maintain a work and personal life balance, as you won’t be worrying about missing anything urgent and can relax and focus on your home life.
6.Time to unwind
Having a set time to unwind after work can be key to maintaining a work-life balance as it gives you time to decompress after a stressful day. For example, setting 10 minutes between finishing work and going back to your time may help to relieve stress and leave behind your workday and any problems that may have accrued. This 10-minute period can consist of going for a walk or even just sitting outside with a drink to distract yourself from what may have happened at work.
Kays Medical are the complete occupational health experts, we offer 40 years of expertise and knowledge. At Kays Medical we offer a range of occupational health services that can help you to maintain your employee’s health, safety, and wellbeing. Contact us to find out more, our friendly team of experts will be more than happy to help and offer advice.