Depending on your job title and employer, you may have found yourself working from home for the last 18 months. And while we would like to take this moment to salute our frontline workers for keeping the world going while the rest of us were forced indoors, it has been tough on us too.
While we may have settled into a routine of working from home, there can still be the issue of finding balance. From the looks of things, we will not be returning to the office anytime soon. If you are still struggling, here are some suggestions on how to keep your home and work life separate when they are occupying the same space.
Spare Room? How about an office?
If you are lucky enough to have a spare room, this could potentially be a great home office. Not only will this be a great excuse to decorate or tidy the space to give it purpose, but it will also create a boundary within your home for work. You may have noticed in the early days of the pandemic, you found it difficult to switch off from work mode at the end of the day. This is likely because you were working in your home, not your office. This new boundary can have a massive positive impact on your mental health and work productivity. Plus, it is better to hide your paperwork behind a closed-door than the kitchen table. That way you won’t be thinking about it when you don’t need to be.
Turn off notifications
If you find yourself checking emails and messages after hours because they keep pinging your phone, you need to turn those notifications off. If you can’t dedicate a space for your home office, you can at least dedicate time. And turn things off after your dedicated working hours have passed. The simple fact is, you are only supposed to work so many hours and calculating part time work hours while you are at home might add up to the equivalent of a full time job. If you are struggling to turn them off, you might need to invest in a separate work phone to keep things separate.
Cultivate an inner sense of work
When we had to commute to work, there was a period during the travelling to your workplace when you had time to process and transition into work mode. When you start working from home, this doesn’t happen. Instead, you must learn to make that switch to work mode before you sit down to your daily tasks.
What you might want to do is set up a routine that helps get you into the mindset of starting your workday. One of my favorite ways is to pretend that it is still a workday and I have to leave the house. So, get up, have a quick workout and shower, pop on some clean clothes and grab a cup of coffee as you head to your workstation.
Leave work at work
This might seem a bit impossible as your workstation will be in your home, but it is still possible. When you are finished with your workday, pack all of your work stuff together, turn off those notifications, and shut the door to your office. After you are done for the day, there is no reason why you need to have your work things around you. If you are tempted to work, that’s fine. Some people find themselves in a flow and don’t want to break. But once you are finished with your tasks, it is time to put work away for the day.
Do not let your family in your office
If you are having to balance working at home with homeschooling your children, this can be tricky. If you have space, set up little workstations for them in your office, such as a kids play table and chairs. This will signal to them that this is where schoolwork is completed. But once they are finished with their work, they have to leave the office and do playtime somewhere else. It is important that they do not play in your office because it can become a distraction for you. Also, there is a good chance that you have important work documents that you don’t want to be ruined.
These are some of the ways you can create a better balance of work and home life while we are still working from home. Try these out and see if they help you to create a space of productivity and relaxation.
P.S. Check out this DIY desk decor! 😉