How to Set Work-Life Boundaries When Working From Home
With the pandemic, employees all over the globe have switched to remote work. And, what a difference it is! Now, people working from home have the flexibility to get tasks done anywhere and anytime. You don’t have to commute daily, which, if your like me, you have saved considerably more during this time by not having to buy gas as much or the ability to go out and eat. And, for some, you don’t have to confront your annoying co-workers anymore; but don’t forget work-life boundaries when working from home.
Undeniably, there are countless pros of remote work of which we are learning as we shift to remote work during the pandemic. But, while remote work does have so many benefits, it has some cons too. And, the most troubling con is the blurring of work-life boundaries. Its when you are unable to maintain the balance between your work and life.
Do you find yourself stressed about keeping your life and work healthy? Is concentration challenging to find in this new work-from-home situation? In any case, you have landed in the right place! Here are some practical tips for setting work-life boundaries when you work from home.
Get Yourself a Home Office
Perhaps the first step towards setting a boundary between home and work is defining your workspace. You’re at your home, but you cannot work in your bed. It sounds comfortable, cozy, and convenient, we know. But well, science says it reduces your productivity significantly. Plus, your brain starts associating your bedroom as a workplace. Thus, disturbing your sleep and mental calmness.
It is essential to allocate space. You can either set up a fully equipped office if your budget allows or pick an affordable mid-century desk and a comfy chair. Set it up in a place with less-traffic, and there you are; your home office is ready! It will enable you to perform better at work and care for yourself and loved ones simultaneously!
Establish a Routine
When you’re not working at the office does not mean that you shouldn’t follow a routine. You may have the liberty to do whatever you like whenever. But, to maintain a work-life balance, it is mandatory to follow a work routine. Or else, you will end up managing house chores and project deadlines simultaneously leading to burnout.
Start by waking up early, as you did when going into the office. With your extra time you can exercise or meditate for a self-care activity, during what used to be your commute time. It is essential to care for your well-being. Next, shower, and change into your work clothes. Yes, it may sound weird, but changing into a different outfit helps your mind concentrate on work better. Once you have eaten breakfast, you’re prepared to log in for work.
Breath in some fresh air
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you don’t need to go out every other day. You do, you’re a human being!
Go out for a 15-minute walk or to grab a snack or two. It will refresh you mentally and physically. More importantly, it will help you disconnect from the virtual world and connect with reality.
Most remote workers strive to convert all of their waking time into productivity time. Hence, they get too absorbed in work. And they gradually become distant from their very own personality, essence, life, and loved ones. Remember, work, money, and fame are not the true essence of life. Instead, it’s life, love, and mental peace. So, it’s essential to get out of your house every once in a while. It will help you keep yourself connected to the real world – to what matters.
Do not overdo things.
According to a survey, remote workers spend approximately an extra 3-hours on work. With a flexible routine, it is easy to persuade yourself to get a few more projects done. But, as harsh as it might sound, you must say no to it!
It is of immense importance to dedicate specific working hours in the day to work. And, not more than that. You see, working more than usual will not only consume the time that you should dedicate to home but also disturb your mental well-being. Once your work time is up, close your laptop, put aside the laptop stand, and leave the workspace. Your day’s over!
No goes both ways!
Lastly, in order to have your work-life boundaries when working from home develop a habit to abide by your boundaries. If you don’t, all of these measures are pointless. If your boss expects you to do them a favor and work overtime for no compensation at all, withdraw politely. Even if it’s with compensation, prioritize your mental well-being, and do not take up more tasks than you can deliver. It will stress you and take away the valuable time you need to spend with yourself, family, and friends.
Similarly, dedicate your work time solely to work. Refrain from promising your friend a game of solitaire while you attend a meeting on mute. In this way, you will achieve nothing from either of the activities. Say no to such distractions, work dedicatedly, and schedule other tasks after your work hours. It will enhance your work performance and set firm and defined boundaries between work life and home life.
Featured Photo by manny PANTOJA on Unsplash