How To Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance When Working From Home

When working from home, the physical boundaries between your personal and work life can feel non-existent. It can become easy to take a quick break to throw in a load of laundry, or work past 5PM because you spent a little too much time on Pinterest/YouTube/Instagram over your lunch break. When work starts or ends can become blurred when it’s in your own home.

Although it can be impossible for home-based (or even office based!) workers to always draw the line between professional and personal life, there are ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance from your home office. Check out our tips we’ve compiled below!

 

Get Dressed For Work

When you work from home, changing out of your pajamas and getting dressed in proper attire (like you normally would when working in an office) may not be a part of your normal routine. Even though it sounds much comfier working in your favourite jammies, it isn’t good for productivity.

When you dress yourself in clothes you’d wear in the office, it helps you get into the mindset of work. This is because the way you dress has an effect on the way you feel. So, start your next work day by getting out of your PJs and into your workwear!

When working from home, even if you’re not in pajamas, it can be tempting to dress less formally than you do in the office. When client meetings, or an impromptu Zoom call with your boss arise, it’s best to be dressed for success.

If you normally come home and change out of your office attire, do the same when you finish work at home! The physical act of changing into something more comfortable can prepare you to unwind after work hours.

 

Get Outside! 

All work and no play leads to burnout. It can be really hard to stare at the same four walls all day long – especially when both work and pleasure are confined to your home.

To protect your mental health and keep yourself energized throughout the day, schedule some time outdoors! Especially now that it’s spring, the mental boost of a (socially distant) walk outside should not be underestimated. Something as simple as taking a walk around the block before you start your workday can really boost your mood, and start the day on a positive note.

If you can, incorporate outdoor time into your end of work day routine as well. Physically removing yourself from your workspace can help you to adjust from work to play.  If you’d rather stay close to home, something as simple as relaxing on your patio or balcony can signal your body that it is time to unwind. Even opening up a book beside an open window can boost endorphins, and get your mind off your to do list until tomorrow!

Physically getting outdoors can tell your brain it’s time to get out of “work mode.”

 

After-Work Hobbies

Work days can get to feel repetitive – especially with the self isolation of current times. When working remotely from your home, it can be hard to step away from the home office.

Make it easier by taking up a solo hobby! It’s important to have something to look forward to at the end of the work day.  Now more than ever, there’s so many virtual options out there to learn a new skill, chat with friends or connect with others.

Looking to discover a new fitness activity you’re passionate about? Join a virtual fitness class! Discover your inner artist by learning how to paint with an online tutorial!

If you’re feeling the negative effects of social isolation, and the change in your routine from working from home, host a weekly virtual board game night with friends to find balance again! A hobby not only helps maintain a healthy balance between your work life and personal life, but it can help you learn something new, too!

It’s important to take a break from screens as well – don’t forget about the power of a good old fashioned paperback, home cooked meal or hopping on the phone to call your grandparents or loved ones!

Painting is not only relaxing, but a good hobby to take up!

 

Distinct Workspace

Without a defined space to work, getting tasks done can be harder than it seems. From the noise of the living room TV to the shelf of snacks in the nearby kitchen, distractions can be everywhere at home.

In order to create a more productive work environment, create a defined space for work. Rather than working on the couch or in your bedroom, find a space that separates personal space from work. When you find this perfect space, treat it like an office. Shut the door, and let those living in the same household know not to interrupt during work hours. If you want to get a little artsy, create your own “do not disturb” sign for when you’re in important meetings.

A defined workspace is a must when working from home.

 

Block Out Time To Mentally Rest

A recent Vacouncer survey found that 46% of people working from home found it difficult to focus because of distractions. Between pets, partners, roommates or housework – giving your full attention to work tasks can be tough!

When working from home, it’s important to create a consistent schedule. This begins by starting and ending work at the same time each day. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, do not work past your scheduled end time.

However, this can be tough with the distractions working from home can present!

Avoid distractions by setting aside time slots on your schedule for when you can take a break. For example, if your lunch break is an hour, we’d suggest setting a timer for a 15 minute break in the morning, half an hour break at lunch and one last 15 minute break in the afternoon. With a newly created schedule, you’ll find yourself to be more committed to your work and getting what needs to be done, done! This can help ensure that your workday ends at a consistent time each day – signaling your body to wind down.

No more working until 8 PM because you went down the YouTube rabbit-hole all afternoon!

Working from home doesn’t mean your work-life balance has to be compromised. By incorporating practices like getting dressed to work, and scheduling breaks throughout your day and getting outside, you will begin seeing an improvement in your well-being.

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