This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Eva Holmes.
If you are part of the ever-growing section of the workforce who prefers working exclusively from home, you must have already realized the virtual non-existence of boundaries between your work life and your personal life. No matter how meticulously organized you are, successfully balancing your household and career can be a difficult task.
The problems are aplenty. From simple day-to-day distractions, household chores, and the ever-present problem of isolation, working from home becomes significantly more difficult if you are raising a family.
However, no matter how difficult the task may be, it’s not impossible to balance your personal and work profiles. There are ways that you can successfully integrate the distinct aspects of your life without becoming overwhelmed. In this article, we provide you with a set of simple techniques that you can utilize to simplify your work from home experience.
When working from home, it’s possible to work while wearing your favorite comfortable PJs. However, no matter how tempting this may appear, it is not really ideal in terms of productivity.
Dressing up is an integral part of your work routine, and it helps immensely if you take the time to get dressed as though you are going to work. You don’t necessarily have to wear a suit or heels, but getting out of your regular home clothes into something of a work attire puts you in the right mindset for working.
The way you dress also affects the way you feel, so you can dress up for work even when you work from home to make your workspace feel like a professional environment.
Designate a Workspace
Along with dressing up for work, earmarking a separate area in the house as your workspace can help create a work environment in your mind since you have to actually get out of your bedroom into your workspace. This incorporates a semblance of a commute into your daily work routine.
Dedicate a space for working. It can be a separate study room, a spare room, or even a portion of the living room that you select. Once you do, treat the place like an actual office. Ensure the space is free from distractions, and let your family know that you are not to be disturbed when you occupy that space.
Working from home typically creates some sort of disconnect from a traditional working model, as well as your team if you have one. It is thus important to establish routes of effective communication.
There are a number of digital solutions for this. Tools like Slack allows workers to communicate actively. You can also utilize voice or video calls for collaborating with the team.
Remote workers are often encouraged to periodically visit their employers in-person to interact with others and take stock of ongoing projects. You can also consider moving into a coworking space with your team. These spaces provide all the necessary office equipment and added amenities at a fraction of the cost of leasing a dedicated office space. You can work comfortably and can engage with your team actively as well.
Focus On Specific Tasks
Working from home can make it very difficult to pay complete attention to a specific task at hand, whether it is work or home-related. This is something you must avoid at any cost.
It’s important to give an appropriate amount of time to your work as well as your family, and balancing this is often tough. To achieve this, you can dedicate fixed parts of your day separately to professional and personal commitments. Set priorities and adhere to them strictly. Explain your schedule to your family and get their support in your endeavor.
Home-based professionals often complain of a feeling of being trapped in their own homes, and this is a significant block in productivity. It’s easy to get lost in work due to the lack of a clear distinction between work and home environments.
Thus, you must take breaks from working. Make time out of your schedule for personal activities within or outside work. You can go visit a local attraction, enjoy other activities, or even sit and do something other than working.
Learn to turn off from work as well. If you are always available, it becomes an expectation from your coworkers and team, and that can destroy your work-life balance. Let your team know your general work hours so that they don’t expect you to be available around the clock.
Taking breaks from work to do the things that give you pleasure will allow you to rejuvenate – so when you next sit down to work, you are that much more productive.
Apart from taking scheduled breaks, you also need to decompress and unwind if your work is stressful.
A common way to do this is to add a sort of “white space” to your schedule. This time will be flexible and can be adjusted into your day whenever you feel stressed. You can undertake any activity you feel like during this time, from meditation to a simple cup of coffee or stepping out for fresh air. 5-10 minutes are all you need to gain the benefits of that flexible white space.
These are a few handy tricks used by successful professionals worldwide to implement an effective work-life balance when working from home. If you incorporate these ideas into your daily life, they will help you juggle family and career effectively and deliver a high level of productivity professionally, without compromising on commitments towards your personal life. Happy working!