It's easy to think you'll have a great work-life balance when working remotely, but that's not always the case. Check out these tips to help keep the distinction between work and your home life.
"Working from home" was around well before COVID in 2020, and remote work opportunities are only expected to increase. Workers have found they are more productive working from home, achieving a better work/life balance when they do. It's easy for boundaries to start to blur when you work from home, but with a little management and communication tools you can achieve a healthy balance between your home life and work.
Below are some tips to help you achieve your own level of work-life balance in your remote career.
1. Set Up Separate Profiles
A constant barrage of emails that make you think about work isn't the best way to protect your boundaries and keep your work-life balance. If you need to use the same computer for different clients or personal tasks then consider setting up different profiles.
TechAdvisor has a tutorial on how you can separate work and play on Windows but you can easily do this in your browser by setting up separate profiles on Google Chrome. This way, your work tasks will have your undivided attention and you're delivering your best work, and you won't have to think about work if you're on your home profile.
2. Advocate Asynchronous
One of the most important things to do when it comes to maintaining your work-life balance is communicating effectively with your employer and team. You need to draw boundaries and make sure you're looking after your own wellbeing by not being available 24-7.
By advocating for working async with your employer and your team, you can work to your own schedule and know your boss and colleagues won't expect an immediate answer to any emails they send. This way you can prioritize your own appointments, commitments, and interests, and still meet your work commitments.
3. Time-Block Your Day
When you're setting up your schedule, take a moment and time block your day. You can do this with a digital calendar or a paper one, but the idea is to set time blocks you'll dedicate to different tasks. Following this method also gives you space to schedule a break throughout the day for proper meals and any errands you may need to run.
USAToday reported that part of the appeal of time-blocking is that it gives you a sense of priorities that most people don't get from a to-do list. End the day with hours that remind you to prep for tomorrow or do a relaxing activity before bed.
4. Find Ways to Talk With Your Co-workers (But Not About Work)
Starting a new job remotely can be awkward, but creating a community is important. It's important to engage your colleagues about things that aren't about work. If one isn't set already, ask your boss about setting up a "virtual watercooler" in whatever digital communication tool you use. This is a space where people can post articles, memes, or share funny anecdotes about their days at home. This will allow you to form connections with your co-workers and feel more like you're part of a team.
5. Plan Post-Work Activities and Don't Cancel Them
Put things you enjoy doing in your calendar. If you start time-blocking you can use the same process to put activities you enjoy on the calendar too. For example, cooking yourself a complicated recipe that you've been wanting to try, or attending a virtual game night with some friends.
The important thing here is to not cancel the plans once you make them. Following through and making sure you take that time away from your work inbox is an important part of keeping that work-life balance.
6. Give Yourself a Weekly Check-In
Burnout is real, and when you work and live in the same space you want to avoid that at all costs. One of the best ways to do this is to check in with yourself weekly.
See where you're losing focus in your day and then think about what will help you refocus. Ask yourself if you need to prioritize your health and wellness? Would it help to start a fitness routine? Do you need to schedule a break in your day here and there?
7. Avoid Sitting in Your Home Office On Days Off
When you're ready to clock out treat it like you would an office job. Close up your work, shut down your computer, and step away from your workspace. So many things are virtual and it can be tempting to try to solve just one more problem or do one more task, but taking a moment to step back isn't lazy.
Give it Time
Like any new job, there will be an adjustment. It will take time to find what works for you and get a schedule that works for your unique rhythm, but in the end, if you evaluate what's working you can achieve the work-life balance you're craving.
Check out the listings on Crossover and start your search for a new remote job today.