Improve work life balance while working from home
With most of the workforce today working from home, here are some guidelines to make the exeperience better.
July 29, 2020
Work culture in today's world has evolved to such an extent that there are times when one cannot differentiate between family time and work time. This is a dangerous trend. With employees now able to access all their work without being physically present at the office, the traditional way of working has seen a dramatic shift, even more so with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic where a very large section of the workforce have suddenly become remote workers. So, today a larger part of the population is working from home. In such a scenario, bringing about a balance between your professional and personal life is very essential.
So, what is work-life balance? Is it going to work and returning from work on time? No, for starters, there is no perfect, one-size-fits-all definition for work-life balance. For each one of us, the work-life balance will be different because we have different priorities and different living styles.
Promoting a well-balanced work-life is very important. A poor work-life balance is one of the most important reasons for poor employee productivity, poor performance and high attrition rate. A right work-life balance on the other hand reduces stress levels and risk of burnout.
Bring in some discipline and incorporate methods to your work life and personal life so that they balance out smoothly.
Set a Login & Logout time
Working overtime has become very common, especially in specific industries. But once you reach home, it's the end of your workday and beginning of your personal time. However, as a remote worker working from home, you don't get the same opportunity of moving into a different space. In such cases, it is essential to set specific work hours and make sure that you follow that.
Concentrate on your work during your work shift and unwind from all work once your shift ends. Keep your team members and superior informed of your schedule so that you are less likely to receive emails or meeting requests during your personal time. Be responsible and factor in all responsibilities and keep a more realistic schedule that will help you to stick to your work hours successfully.
Start Your Day on a Positive note
The first few hours of your work shift are very vital to your success. The start influences how your entire day pans out. Respect this time and ensure that your productivity level is very high at the start. A fixed routine in the morning will help you to adhere to that schedule everyday and create efficient habits, thus making each day as productive as the day before. Working with more passion and focus will turn out to be more productive rather than just working for more hours in a day.
Create a designated workspace
If you truly want to balance your work and personal life successfully, it's in your best interest not to work from your bed. By working on the bed or the couch, you are creating an unprofessional environment around you that can be very distracting. By designating a specific workspace, you are bifurcating your workspace and your personal space, thereby helping yourself to achieve higher efficiency.
You must avoid working in a place that you strongly associate with relaxation. Do your best to create a workspace that is comfortable for you, and at the same time gives a professional vibe.
Take proper breaks
When working from home, you can't take the coffee breaks that you used to take with your colleagues and catch up on some personal time. But that should not deter you from indulging in proper breaks from work. You can also take short breaks every couple of hours to take a short walk or probably do some personal chores if that helps you unwind. Step away from your work for a few minutes, stretch a bit, look out of the window, or take a 10-minute break to listen to your favourite music.
Develop a healthy exercise and diet routine
No matter what kind of industry or role you are in, working from home can be very tricky if not planned well. Whatever the type of work, you shouldn't neglect your mental and physical health. All the stress accumulated by you will have an adverse effect in the long run. Staring at the computer for 8-9 hours a day will create many problems, and that is why it is necessary to exercise regularly, eat and drink healthy pay attention to your health.
If you find your energy levels to be low, you need to change some aspects of your life like more physical activity, better nutrition, less sugar and salt, fewer chemicals and more vitamins. Yoga and physical exercise can become effective treatment strategies for minor health problems, depression and anxiety. These exercises can bring long term as well as short-term benefits to enhance your physical health, mood and sleep.
You can also find some apps that will guide you to have a perfect workout regime at home when you are unable to get to the gym. These apps provide clear instructions in audio or video form from real coaches and also help you gauge your progress. Some of such apps are PEAR Personal Fitness Coach, Fitbit Coach, Peloton, Shred, FitOn and a host of other apps.
Exercise is only half the battle for taking care of your health. You also need to maintain a healthy diet plan. A healthy diet protects against malnutrition and improves your immunity against different diseases. A balanced and healthy diet depends on individual characteristics like age, gender, lifestyle and physical activity. However, the basic principles of a healthy diet have always remained the same that constitutes fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts.
Consistently being motivated to carry on a proper diet plan and physical exercises requires the support and motivation of your family. The current pandemic and working from home has made family more relevant than ever. As modern work life put pressure on you, the benefits of spending time with your family become more important.
Healthy dose of family time
Family time helps to meet your basic needs and builds a support system. Simply whispering sweet nothing to your loved ones, playing family games, teaching kids to cook or catching up on a movie together will provide you with a refreshed mind that is ready to take on the pressures of work the next day.
Music: Food for your soul
Music is said to be a stress buster for most people, and a good dose of music will go a long way in rejuvenating you. Music has a positive effect on the brain; it makes one happy, positive and more productive. Certain types of music can change our mood, get us motivated and even help us concentrate. Choose from among numerous music apps like Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, etc. that have readily available playlists to suit your mood or taste. There are numerous options to choose from, including playlists like Feel Good Bollywood, Songs for Quarantine, Peaceful Piano, Nature Sounds, Mood Booster and many more playlists for various Indian regional languages. You can simply select the playlist you prefer and enter into the world of music leaving away all your worries, even if it is for a short time.You can also create your own playlists and share it with friends and family.
Develop a hobby
Hobbies play an important role in alleviating some of the unavoidable stress in our life. They provide us with way of releasing our creative side, a pleasant distraction or something that we can look forward to. Having a hobby that we enjoy enriches our life. In such times where we are all confined within the walls of our homes, developing a hobby or bringing out our childhood hobbies and redefining them will have a soothing effect. Having a hobby gives you more knowledge and experiences about certain subjects and this allows you to teach anyone who is interested in the same topic. Hobbies also help eradicate boredom, and prevent bad habits and wastage of time. As the old saying goes "An idle mind is a devil's workshop", hobbies can fill up your free time with pleasant thoughts and you will spend less time on negative activities. By the time, this pandemic ends and life goes back to normal, you will have acquired a new skill and gained more confidence to face the world.
Just like developing a new habit or a new routine requires time and dedication, maintaining work-life balance also requires time. Balance cannot be achieved overnight. It may take some tweaking and rearranging or prioritizing tasks, but the goal is to find a balance that works well for you. Eventually, you will notice that each routine becomes part of your life and you will see positive growth in your life and the right balance in your professional and personal life.