One timeless challenge we all face in common while working from home is finding a perfect balance between our work and personal life. A Harvard Business Review survey showed that around 94% of employees spend 50 or more hours a week at work (which is not ideal). With such a high work-hours-per-week rate, it's impossible to have high productivity, an enthusiastic work style, and an excellent work life balance. Though there's no one-size-fits-all approach, here are six tips that can help you find a balance and navigate working from home with stability.
1. Unplug from work
Consciously disconnecting from work when your workday is done helps reduce stress, maintain emotional well-being and be more efficient. As stated in a study, 40% of professionals say that unplugging from work is one major pain point when working remotely.
While you're working from home, it's important to let others know when you call it a day, take breaks between tasks, or when you head out for lunch. Using a team chat and collaboration platform like Cliq means you can use remote work features to let others know when you're available and when you've disconnected from work for the day.
Just like swiping your ID and walking out of the office, use Cliq's check-out option in Cliq to virtually unplug.
No one wants to be bothered when away for lunch or short breaks. Remote work statuses in Cliq show your availability to your teammates at a glance.
2. Find time for yourself
Spending time for yourself and your loved ones is as important as spending time at work. Regardless of our current workload and tight schedules, we are ultimately the ones who have control of our time and how we spend it.
To avoid letting work time creep into other parts of your life, make a firm plan for personal time; otherwise, your entire day can end up revolving around work.
Plan for a meal with your family, do chores together, practice a new hobby, go for a short vacation, or meditate and be mindful. The core intention is to spend some quality time for yourself and your loved ones instead of just working around the clock.
3. Utilize technology to your advantage
With miscommunications and disruptions in collaboration, you cannot get work efficiently done on time. It leads to stress and in turn increases your work hours, leading to an imbalance. Look for tools that help collaborate, manage workflows, automate tasks, support remote work and others; in simple terms, look for more than just a chat app.
If you want to explore your options and try a collaboration tool, here are ten things to consider while looking for a team collaboration app.
4. Learn to say "No" when you need to
While it's normal to want your team to succeed and show your worth as an employee, having a manageable workload with a proper schedule is better than having more than you can reasonably accomplish with added stress.
If you start saying "Yes" to every task or responsibility, you're just as likely to overload yourself and your schedule as prove yourself an invaluable team member. Seeking perfection in everything might be well-intentioned, but to avoid work overload and burnout, you have to say "No" when necessary and prioritize your health.
Here are four critical questions to ask yourself before saying "No."
- Can I get this done without affecting my other responsibilities?
- Is there enough time and room in my schedule for this new task?
- What is the priority of this task?
- How does this task fit into the company's long-term and short-term goals?
5. Manage and track your time
Better organize your day and improve the way you work by keeping track of your time. You may be spending more time on a task that requires less effort, but you won't know it unless you measure your work.
Try creating a to-do list for the day and set up a reminder for each task you'll be working on that day. This way, you can see whether you spend more time on any particular task and work on optimizing your process for it.
It's also critical to know your peaks and troughs at work to manage your time and schedule work accordingly. For example, if you're usually more active in the early mornings and late at night, you can allocate your active time for high priority tasks and spend your less-focused time on small tasks of intermediate or low priority.
6. Stay connected with your colleagues
Working from home all by yourself can get lonely at times. We have all felt low and less engaged at some point in the last year. What do you do in such a situation?
Postponing work and being a couch potato is not a solution. If you feel less engaged or lonely, try connecting with your available coworkers over a call for a virtual coffee break, a short game, or a chat session on random topics. This helps you and your team members socialize as well as enjoy the little things of working in an office environment.
In a nutshell
The intention of these tips is to help understand the importance of balancing work and personal time and offer some practical ways to achieve it. No job is more important than your mental health and family time. Only when you're mentally whole can you can be fully engaged and productive at work.
Try out some or all of these tips while working from home and see if you can find a good balance. Share one of your favorite routines or tips for maintaining a healthy work life balance in the comments!