Finding your perfect Work-life balance
How to maintain a work-life balance when working from home
With so many of us working remotely, it can be difficult to try and maintain a healthy work-life balance. While working from home may have allowed you to spend more time with family, it can also blur the fine line between a space to relax and a space to work.
So what is work-life balance? In a nutshell, work-life balance is when a working individual can equally prioritize their work life and their personal life. It’s the ability to have a good balance between two of the most important parts of our lifestyle. Having the ability to separate professional and personal time is integral when it comes to avoiding burn out. However, for those who work from home, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two.
In an ideal world, the moment we close our laptops at the end of the workday should mean that we can relax and have plenty of time to spend with our friends and family. As much as we want to achieve a perfect work-life balance while working at home, it’s not always that simple. Learning to balance work and life is possible, but it does require some self-discipline. Here are a few suggestions on how you can get started.
Create a dedicated and productive workspace at home
As an architectural practice, we know how much space can impact your mood and productivity. If you’re working remotely, you should take the time to create a separate office space in your home – this will help you draw a mental line between where your work begins and ends. Having a home office that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but provides function can make all the difference. If you’re not sure where to start, experiment! Do you find inspiration with certain colors? Does having a framed photo of your friends and family give you motivation? Will you need to have the space soundproofed? Consider consulting an expert who can provide advice on how to make your office space productive and functional yet also aesthetically pleasing.
Disconnect from work when you leave the physical and virtual office
Thankfully, technology has made it more efficient for us to work from home. The hardest part, though, is learning to disconnect when the work hours are over. For some, it may be hard to resist checking work emails when you’re spending quality time with your family and friends. The key to improving your work-life balance is to switch off when it’s time to switch off. A good practice is to end your workday when it’s time to have dinner with the family. Turn off your work email notifications for the rest of the day and leave them until your work hours start again the next morning.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries
If you work with a team, make it clear when you are and aren’t available for work. Boundaries can look different to different people, so it’s important to understand where you stand with your own. Take the time to evaluate your current situation. List out your priorities and goals, as well as what you need to help you achieve this for both your work and personal life. Give yourself a clear picture of what it is you want and need. Do you need to know about certain business events or meetings well in advance? Do you need to negotiate deadlines? Make your colleagues and business contacts aware of this and be firm about the boundaries you have set. The same applies to your family and personal life. Your workspace should be dedicated to your work, so be sure to tell your partner and children when it is and isn’t ok to come into the office space.
Take time off work to help increase your productivity
It can be easy to feel guilty when you take a break from work; however, it is essential – not taking sufficient time off can affect your physical and mental health as well as your productivity. Understanding how you can maintain a healthy work-life schedule is understanding when to step away from the laptop, the Zoom meetings and phone calls, and take time to just relax. Studies have shown that taking time away from work has been proven to increase productivity, creativity and energy levels. Whether you choose to spend a day to yourself or book a lavish 2 week trip to Cabo, allow yourself to just have fun and relax every so often to avoid burnouts.
Prioritize your health and wellbeing
Without good health, nothing in your life will work properly. This applies to both your mental health and your physical health. There may be days when work stress spills into our personal lives; to help cope with this, you need to actively try to reduce the amount of stress. One of the best ways is through exercise. You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a gym rat to lead a healthy life. It only takes 20-30 minutes out of your day. It could look like a quick yoga session or even a short walk around the neighborhood. Another great way to deal with stress is through meditation. Just 10 minutes of meditation can be enough to help clear your mind and stay within the present.
Remember there is no such thing as a perfect work-life balance
The first step to achieving a better work-life balance is to let go of the need to be perfect. There will be days when you’ll have to work longer hours, and there may be days when you’ll have to put family first. That is OK. Improving your work-life balance is a skill, and like any skill, you have to keep practicing until it improves and starts to come naturally to you. Start small and build your way up. Instead of making drastic changes immediately, let it build gradually over time. You will soon see some benefits, and so will your loved ones.
So, how do you find your perfect work-life balance? Share your best tips and great ideas with us in the comments below!