Remote work brings many benefits. It is the go-to choice for many people, and for a growing number of companies. But working from the comfort of your own home can easily blur the lines between professional and private life. When your home becomes your office, maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging.
Failing to keep a healthy work-life balance while working remotely can quickly lead to burnout and harm mental health. Luckily, there are things you can do to draw a clear line between work and private life.
Establishing clear working hours is a crucial element of maintaining a work-life balance when working remotely. Many companies require their employees to be active between specific hours, which makes it easier to stick to a schedule.
However, if the company you work for offers flexible hours or you are self-employed, you must establish your daily schedule as you would if you worked in an office. Align your working hours with business purposes and your own preferences, but don’t let them exceed the regular working norm.
You can work longer on some days and shorter on others if that works for you and/or your business. But even if your schedule is less regular than the standard 9-5, do try to fit within the time frame you set for yourself.
And, more importantly, communicate it to others. People will try to contact you constantly if you don’t set clear boundaries. Share your schedule with colleagues, partners, and clients, and make a point of not interacting with them outside of it. This will do wonders for your work-life balance while working from home.
Most phones nowadays come with the brilliant function of the “do not disturb mode”. It helps maintain your work-life balance when working remotely by stopping specific apps from sending you notifications between certain hours.
This is a great solution to apply for whatever communication channel you use at work, or for your work email. Adjust the settings so that work-related apps stop working as soon as you do.
You can also download special software that prevents you from accessing chosen apps in a set time frame. If turning on the “do not disturb” mode isn’t enough for you and you worry you might be tempted to check your email anyway, try blocking your access to it whatsoever.
A common reason why people end up working overtime when working from home is that they don’t manage to do everything on their to-do list during the day.
Staying productive while working from home is a challenge many remote workers deal with every day. With no one there to supervise you, it is all too easy to give in to the temptation of scrolling through social media for a quarter too long. Being so close to the washing machine also encourages you to throw in one more load of laundry.
We can’t offer a solution for avoiding the washing machine, other than locking the room and throwing out the key. But you can use the methods described in the previous point to block out the distractions on your phone.
In your you-time, use the “do not disturb” mode and focus apps to keep your professional life at bay. During working hours, do the opposite - block out the apps that break your focus. You can also try listening to music that keeps you productive.
If you do everything you need to when you are actually supposed to be working, you won’t have a reason to work after hours. It is one of the best practices for maintaining work-life balance in a remote job.
The key to having a healthy work-life balance when working from home is separating private affairs from professional ones. You can do it by having a physical distinction between them.
Many companies provide their employees with remote work equipment. This perk makes it easy to avoid mixing business and pleasure because you don’t have to use personal devices for work.
However, if you don’t have this benefit or you’re self-employed and can’t splurge on two separate computers, there is still a way. Many computers come with the feature of setting up several desktops.
You can have one desktop just for work, and another just for personal use. This will help you separate apps, but also decide which files you see and when.
If you don’t want folders full of promotional materials or invoices cluttering your personal space, keep them contained to your professional desktop. This way, you won’t have to look at them in your off time and will find it easier to keep a work-life balance while working remotely.
The problem with keeping a work-life balance when working from home is usually the lack of an office. There is no clear distinction between where you live and where you work, so sometimes, those two areas of your life can become one and the same.
One of our top tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance when working remotely is to create a home office. It doesn’t have to be a separate room - not everyone can afford that.
Set up a desk anywhere you can fit it that you will use just for work. And be vigilant about keeping your work contained to that space as well.
Don’t spread documents or Post-it notes around the entire house. This poses a risk of damaging or losing them. Plus, there is also the threat of you stumbling upon them after working hours and “taking a quick look”.
This may sound counterproductive. After all, don’t we usually choose to work remotely to avoid the brain-numbing routine of working in the office? Getting up in the morning, commuting, eating lunch from a plastic box every day, having the same conversations over and over, commuting again…
But even the most adventurous of us need some form of a routine. Human brains are designed to seek patterns and follow them, and they get lost if they don’t.
Your routine can be whatever you make it out to be. You can remove the elements that annoy you and keep only the ones that help you stay productive. You know best what works for you, so form daily habits to give your brain a pattern to follow.
Don’t get ready to rock on some days and work from your bed on others. Even if it sounds unbelievable, you will find it easier to maintain a work-life balance when working from home if you get up, get dressed, and have breakfast at specific hours.
The best way to keep a healthy work-life balance when working remotely is to make sure you don’t stay at work when you’re not supposed to. If you have to leave your house for a bit to ensure it, do it.
We all relax in different ways. Moving from the desk to the couch and powering on a TV series or cracking open a book is what helps some people unwind after a long day. Others prefer to spend time with their family. Others would rather go out with friends to make sure they don’t gravitate back towards their computer at the first opportunity.
Make plans for after work that you will look forward to. This way, when you clock off, you will be excited to do something else and won’t feel tempted to stay a bit longer.
Do whatever makes you happy and will load your batteries to go back to work the next day with positive energy.
We hope our tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance when working remotely will bring a positive change into your life. The key takeaway is to remember to effectively separate your work and private life by whatever means necessary.
If you’re still looking for a work-from-home opportunity, make sure to have a look at the remote jobs at Europe Language Jobs. You now know how to maintain a work-life balance while working remotely, so it’s time to join the work-from-home team!
The human brain is designed to compartmentalise different areas of our life. When we start mixing them, it simply gets confused and begins associating activities with the wrong compartments.
It is easy to differentiate between work and private life when we leave the house and go to the office every day. Our brains can spot a clear distinction: office - work, home - relax.
Maintaining a work-life balance when working from home becomes slightly more difficult because we don’t leave the house, and our living space is also our working space.
We are not surrounded by colleagues who all start going home at some point and don’t experience the in-between phase of commute, when we can wind down and change our mindset from “at work” to “going home”. It is all too easy to push boundaries and stay just a bit longer or send just one more email when working from home.
This is why it is crucial to make a double effort to find a work-life balance when working remotely.
The answer depends on the type of person. Generally, remote work can improve work-life balance for some. The time saved on commuting and the ability to work in your own space makes it easier for many people to maintain a work-life balance when working from home.
However, those who have trouble setting clear boundaries and disconnecting after work might discover that remote work isn’t good for work-life balance. This is because the lack of distinction in working and living spaces may provide a temptation to work too long or too hard.
Best practices for maintaining work-life balance in a remote job are setting up a schedule, sticking to a routine, staying focused during the day, and using different methods to separate professional and private life.
It is crucial to set clear boundaries - both for yourself and for others - and draw a clear line between work and free time.