The flexibility of working from home is a boon for more people than ever. There are no stressful commutes, fewer interruptions, and often, less structured work hours.
But if there is one pitfall with working from home, it is overworking and never truly switching off from thinking about work. There’s just not the same closure of walking out of the office every evening and segueing into your home life.
So how do you keep a balance between work and “you” time?
Have A Separate Work-Only Space
Whether you are an entrepreneur, or your company allows you to work remotely, you need to have part of your home that is only used for business. A separate room for a home office is the best solution, but if you don’t have the space for that, a dedicated workstation will do just fine.
Make sure that this space is only used for business purposes (this can be important for tax reasons too). If you’re in your living room, make the boundaries clear by keeping the television and radio switched off and avoid the temptation of doing housework in between tasks. Keep work and home life as separate as possible.
Downtime is just as important as work time. You’ll soon suffer from burnout if you don’t ensure that you get some relaxation. Signal the priority you give to your downtime by scheduling it in your calendar. Be clear about your working hours and resist the temptation to peek at your work emails when you’re supposed to be relaxing.
Stick to A Working Week
Weekends are essential – you need time away from work to recharge. Keep to having specific days that are workdays and two days a week when it’s your weekend time. That doesn’t have to be Saturday and Sunday; you can choose which days work best for you and your business but do take a weekend’s worth of time off.
Self-care is vital when you work from home. You might feel tempted to work all hours, but just as you need time to chill, you also need time to exercise, get some pampering, and take care of yourself.
Working from home makes it easier to stick to a healthy, nutritious diet as you’re in control of what food comes into the house. Be sure to take lunch breaks, stay well-hydrated, and get a good night’s sleep.
Stay Connected to Your Colleagues
At first, people often find that working from home is great. You don’t have to put up with the office clown or be bothered by other people’s loud conversations. But connection is essential for humans. We are social animals, and you’ll soon be missing those office kitchen conversations, birthday celebrations, and work lunches.
Schedule regular video catch-ups with your colleagues and maybe arrange a monthly coffee or lunch date.
Get Some Exercise
If you spend all day in front of the computer, you risk turning into a slob within weeks. Make time in your schedule for exercise. Go to the gym first thing in the morning or when you finish your work for the day. Get out for a walk or a run at lunchtime. Take the dog for a walk or offer to walk a neighbor’s pooch. Good for you and great for the dog!
Eat a Healthy Diet
It should be easier to stick to a healthy diet when you work from home. Just be sure not to bring unhealthy snacks into the house, so you’re not tempted to grab a mid-afternoon candy bar. Keep a fruit bowl on your desk, and be sure to stay well hydrated. You can use an app to make sure you’re drinking enough water, or simply keep a water bottle or pitcher on your desk. Whenever you finish a sentence or send an email, take a glass of water!
Take Regular Breaks
When you’re working from home, there’s nothing to break up your day unless you make it happen. Set a timer, so you get up from your desk every half hour.
Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Make yourself a proper lunch and eat in the kitchen or dining room.
If you’re stuck on a problem, leave your phone and your laptop at home and go to a neighboring park or café. Have a coffee break and see if the change of scenery helps you work it out.