How to establish a new work-life balance in #ANewNormal
Work-life balance has always been a topic of discussion for brands, employees, coaches, and psychologists. It is always a tricky thing to achieve. Working from home has made it even more challenging. When home becomes a place of work, and work happens within home, the lines between the two can easily blur.
Everyone’s definition of work-life balance is different. We reached out to a few of our colleagues, who said they find working from home a better contributor to work-life balance. Here’s what they did.
Establish a working space.
The first step to achieving work-life balance is to dedicate a spot in your home to work. If you have the luxury of real estate, pick a room as your new office. If you don’t, carve out a spot to become your work station. It may be intriguing to work from your bed, but do not do it. Being too cozy can negatively impact productivity. Leave the bed as a place where you can retire when work is done.
Wherever you set up your office, ensure you have comfortable and good lighting. Natural light often boosts mood. It is good to light up your face, for virtual meetings too. So set up your space near a window if possible. If you’re going to be on a video call, be aware of your background and any other distractions from pets, roommates, or kids.
Set working hours.
Some people end up working more hours than they would in an office and others find it hard to stay focused on 10-6. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re working from home in various ways. Avoid the temptation to work whenever you can. Set office hours for yourself, in line with the working hours of your organisation. Get the better of work, else work will take over from you.
Setting working hours is especially helpful if you have kids. It’s a way to set help them understand that for certain times you’ll be in work mode, but the rest of the time you are available for them. The same is true for your partner and parents. Getting everyone in the house on a schedule helps ensure that work gets done for everyone.
Get yourself a lunch break.
As much as you enjoyed the luncheon cafeteria, take a lunch break. Step away from your work while you have lunch. Call your colleague, read a book, watch an episode of your favorite show, or do something that relaxes you on your lunch break.
Multi-tasking is the biggest contributor to distractions, and it becomes even more of a problem when working from home. It can be tempting to throw in a load of laundry, tidy up around the house while you’re working, making a quick dish, or checking social media. But it’s more distracting than helping. When you’re working, keep yourself in work mode. If you schedule breaks in your working day, use those times to do housework, but discipline yourself to stick to the schedule.
Signal end of your workday.
Turn off your computer. Tidy up the office space and leave work. The simple act of doing this helps you transition out of work mode and into home mode – even if that only means taking a few steps from your table to your couch. Mentally clocking out replicates leaving the office at the end of the day. And with the luxury of zero commutes back home.
Transitioning to work from home and finding a beautiful work-life balance may need a few trials. Be patient with yourself as you learn to adjust to a new situation. And like all changes, control your own work-life balance by taking motivated actions.