With millions of UK workers now working from home, maintaining a good work life balance when remote working can be hard as the boundary between work and leisure environments is crossed. When you exclusively work from home, physical boundaries between work and your personal life can feel virtually nonexistent. Even if you’re organised, it can still be difficult to successfully manage your career and a household in the same space, especially if you’re raising a family, too.
While it may not be possible for home-based business owners and workers to completely draw the line between personal and professional, there are ways to better integrate the different facets of your life.
Designated office space
Workspace should indeed be separated from other rooms, such as bedrooms and living rooms. This is because a separate room can make you more focused on your work. Much like putting on a proper outfit, committing to only doing work in a defined space, like an office or another sectioned-off area of your home, can help to create a more productive work environment when maintaining a work/life balance when remote working.
A workspace that connects to another room will make it difficult for you to concentrate as there might be other family members doing activities that draw your attention away. The space needed for work does not have to be too big as long as it is enough to put tables and chairs. Nevertheless, if you do not have a room that you can designate as a workspace, you can turn one corner of your home into a workspace provided that the Internet, electricity, and other utilities are made available in this corner.
Plan your day
When working from home, you’re your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out. To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks.
To create a sense of work space normality, aim to start and finish work at the same times each day. This gives structure to the working day, as well as ensures set times for both work and leisure. Try and break for lunch at the same time each day too, and set specific times to run any errands that need doing.
Invest in a desk
It’s a simple flat surface, but it can make a huge difference. Just having a desk gives the space a work environment feel that everyone in the home will perceive. That is reason enough to make a desk the centrepiece of your home office. Choosing the best desk for your home office will involve considering how much space you have available in the room.
The desktop needs to be big enough to accommodate your laptop or computer, while giving you space to take notes or sort files. A corner desk will allow you to split the work station into two: one side for the computer, the other for paperwork, or if you prefer to be more mobile, a standing desk is worth considering. Some desks have handy wire channels to keep your tangle of cables neatly out of the way. If your chosen desk does not, you will need to consider the placement of the desk for a neat and safe connection to plug sockets.
Use technology to stay connected
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off the larger operation happening in the office. Instant messaging and video conferencing tools can make it easy to check in with co-workers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture.
Maintaining a work/life balance when remote working is paramount to our mental health and productivity. Maintaining a work-life balance is about separating your personal and professional lives without allowing one to encroach upon the other. Both are important, neither should be neglected.