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Work life balance, a myth, a mirage. or something we all can achieve? Achieving it is the ultimate goal; however, while working from home, personal and professional life boundaries can get extremely blurry. You could find yourself working answering emails from the moment you wake up in the morning and right before going to bed. You might find yourself spending quality time with family, only for those precious moments to be interrupted by a work call or an important work task, because let’s be real, working at a tech startup needs your full attention.
Work life balance amidst the pandemic
During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us assumed that working from home would allow one to create more meaningful memories with their family. However, the mixture of life at home and energy at work can be detrimental to your connection with your family, your work, and, most importantly, your mental health. Therefore, it is crucial to establish a clear boundary between your personal and professional life with a clear work life balance to look out for yourself in the best possible way.
Even though restrictions are gradually getting lifted, several companies are taking their time to transition back to working in the office and still prefer work from home as a mode to communicate with their employees. Some are sticking to the remote model, and some are giving their employees the agency to decide between working in person or at home.
However, since many people will still be working remotely, it is critical to understand how one can look out for themselves while trying to strike a work life balance in the most efficient way possible. Joe Wedgwood highlights the importance of having a work-life balance through some cultural assessment surveys that will help you convince how significant it is for you.
Importance of a schedule
This might perhaps be the very foundation of ensuring that you can separate your personal space from your workspace. In addition, with an established end time, you can make sure to clock out at the end of your shift mentally and will no longer need to concern yourself with any work emails or any pending tasks.
For this to work out, you will need to be very assertive with yourself. If your cut-off time is 5 PM, then do not work for a minute longer. It can be tempting to continue working as you will be at home; however, that is where you will need to remind yourself that your work time is over. You might need to be very clear with your co-workers too.
At times, companies can expect workers to be available round the clock since they are at home. However, that can interfere with one’s personal life. If possible, it would be preferable to clarify to everyone that you will not be available beyond a specific time, a boundary that is well within your right to set and how important a work life balance is for you.
Having a separate workspace
Having a workspace isolated from the rest of your household can allow you to mentally separate yourself from your work once you leave that space. This way, it will be easier for you to be present at home while taking breaks or after having clocked off. You must also avoid that workspace during other periods – never enter that space during a weekend, especially.
Tip: Since you can create your workspace, you can customize it to your liking to create a very comfortable space for yourself. If you like scented candles, you can keep a few on your desk to help you feel more at peace while working. If you struggle to sit in one spot while working, perhaps you can consider investing in a standing desk. Small elements like these can help you look out for yourself even while committing yourself to the grind.
There is no better way to make the most of working remotely than by spending time with your family. The chance to spend cherished moments with your loved ones is one of the most precious opportunities one can ask for. Since everyone will be spending more time at home than usual, you can ensure that everyone has lunch and dinner together.
That will give everyone the chance to clock out of whatever else they are doing and will allow the family to establish a stronger connection. Moreover, you can have weekly game nights, movie nights, etc., for everyone to get a breather from the grind!
Enjoy after-work hobbies
At work, you are surrounded by individuals, so you always get the chance to interact with people here and there. As we are social animals, it is critical to stay in touch with people one way or another. With restrictions slowly lifting, you should certainly try to ensure that you make plans with friends and family to have a bit of fun and enjoy the beauty of human connection in your life!
When work-life consumes you, you could burn out. Even if you have the time for other activities, it could be a struggle to discover the energy or the motivation to do anything else. As a result, your days could be monotonous and boring.
When that happens, it can take a lot of active effort to get yourself out of the routine you are used to. Whenever you are feeling that way, it is all the more essential to break out of your shell.
Whatever is you are passionate about – be it swimming, cycling, arts and crafts, or jamming to music – it could be a great idea to take some time out for it a few times each week. Taking out some time for what makes you happy and a change of scenery can do wonders!
Work at home can be a blessing in disguise if you plan it out the right way! With the right balance, you can ensure to focus on all your work, all while spending quality time with yourself, and the people you love.
It is critical to remember that there is no formula for the right balance. It all depends on what works for you. So, listen to your intuition, and take it from there!