4 Tips for Improving Your Work-Life Balance

Remote work is becoming the new normal for many around the world. Even as offices work toward reopening, some question the need to return.

Offering greater flexibility, much shorter commute times, and the potential for increased productivity, what’s gained from working from home isn’t lost on anyone. However, what’s lost when putting in the 9-to-5 from your pajamas?

The improved ability to focus outside of workplace distractions can be great for a company’s bottom line, not so great for your stress levels. On average, remote workers put in an extra 16.8 days working than their office-bound counterparts and struggle to maintain work-life balance.

Before those at-home workaholic habits take hold and leave little room for play, consider these four tips for bringing balance to the workday.

Know Your Boundaries

First things first, it’s important to acknowledge your boundaries. Maybe you’re someone who refuses to respond to emails or Slack notifications between certain hours. Maybe you need to spend an hour with your kids midday or take a walk around the block to recharge.

Think hard on what fulfills you during the day outside of sitting hunched in front of a computer. It’s those activities and moments of escape that’ll set you up to work more effectively in the long run.

Establish and Communicate Expectations

With your boundaries identified, share them with those around you. Your boss, co-workers, and family members aren’t mind readers. They don’t know what you need to be successful throughout the day if you don’t express yourself accordingly.

Block time on your calendar so fellow employees know when you are and aren’t available. The more open and honest you are about needs upfront, the easier it’ll be for others to adapt and express their needs with you as well.

Set Visual Reminders

It’s one thing to say we’re going to do something and another to actually do it. When working from home, you can quickly lose sight of bestnintentions when heads-down focus mode kicks in. In these moments, disregarding boundaries does a disservice to both yourself and loved ones around you.

Set visual reminders to help in staying true to your intentions. Create an alarm on your phone, stick a hot pink Post-It note to your computer, and/or implement a screen time feature or app on your desktop. Find what works for you and go with it.

Turn Off Tech

For some, the “out of sight, out of mind” approach is an effective one for work stressors. If having work email synced to your phone leads you to regularly load and reload the app, disconnect it.

Similarly, consider shutting down your computer completely at the end of the day. Put obstacles in your way that’ll make working during set non-work hours more difficult and reconnect with what really matters.

By Staples Canada

August 31, 2020

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