How To Separate Work From Home When Working Remotely
The pandemic has caused companies to quickly shift to remote work. While many may be struggling to adjust to working from home, managers and leaders have additional challenges to face that can blur the lines between work and personal life.
A good work-life balance can help increase productivity, lower stress levels, and improve overall health and wellbeing. To help you effectively separate work from personal life, here are a few tips:
Have a designated workspace
Transitioning to remote working will disrupt both your environment and mindset. As such, you’ll need to recondition your mind to work somewhere else. Whether you have a spare room or just a tiny corner, having a dedicated workspace helps establish a strict divide between your work and personal life.
Surround yourself with things that can cue your brain to be in a work mindset, but this doesn’t mean you should replicate your office desk. You want to be productive while keeping your stress levels low, so make a workspace that can help you with that. For instance, a desk near the window can let in natural light, which can help improve your alertness and focus.
Establish a routine
Rolling out of bed minutes before you need to log in for work means your brain isn’t awake enough to start working yet. Back in the pre-pandemic days, what did you do between waking up in the morning and going to the office? Try to replicate this or create a new one you can practice every day before you start work.
A routine can help you set specific markers that signal when you’re ready to work. For instance, while it may seem silly at first, taking a bath, getting dressed, or applying basics like moisturizer and lip gloss can help condition your mind that it’s time for work. Makeup can also make you feel more prepared for your workday and is actually becoming increasingly common practice for remote workers around the world. Having an established routine – whether that’s putting on skincare and makeup, or simply taking time to drink coffee and meditate for a few minutes – can help you divide personal time from work.
Keep a consistent schedule
Working remotely often allows for a more flexible schedule, which is great. However, having an erratic work schedule with long breaks throughout the day can negatively impact your productivity. Instead of getting your work done within eight hours, you might end up working much longer than you need to.
Not setting time boundaries can also further blur the lines between work and personal life, which can lead to burnout. To help you keep to a consistent schedule, make a to-do list and set a time limit for each agenda so you can focus on one task at a time. Multitasking actually hurts your productivity since you’ll lose your momentum and concentration on the things you’re trying to juggle.
Unplug from work
Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you can be contacted about work anytime. This kind of mindset is dangerous as it can unconsciously make you a workaholic. As a manager or leader, you can give your employees some guidelines about time boundaries so no one is on edge about suddenly receiving an email during dinner.
Unplugging from work is an important part of work-life balance and ensures that you have enough personal time. It’s good for your mental health and can help your productivity since you’ve given yourself time to properly rest and recover from the day’s tasks.