Work-life balance during remote work – how to achieve it?
January 19, 2021
“The Coronavirus Outbreak Has Become the World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment”wrote the TIME magazine 
Table of Contents:
The increased popularity of remote work
A widespread home office, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has turned its current work model upside down. In recent months, remote work is a topic that appears extremely often. Many companies have introduced a model where all employees work from home or come to the office in a shift system. Not all employees cope well with this change, especially when it lasts for several months.
Remote work – facilitation or problem?
There are those who enjoy working from home and those who prefer the traditional model. The first group focuses on flexible hours and saves time on commutes. They are also happy about the possibility of informal attire and can spend more time with their children or go for a walk with their dog at almost any time.
The second group consists of people who feel out of place in such a scenario. They lack contact with people and a comfortable place in the office. Additionally, migraine caused by 8 hours on calls suppresses all the motivation. The large dimension of working from home can also seriously change the work-life balance. Spending all-time in one place makes it easy to become uncomfortable and lose track of time.
3 problems and 3 solutions
We chose 3 issues that we think are common and popular. They are the ones that have the greatest impact on work-life balance and can wreck it. In our opinion, they make you overwork or become ineffective in your tasks. Below we suggest how to solve them.
1. Am I at work or home?
Working in the same place as living can make certain boundaries blurry. At some point, you may encounter problems separating the time you spend working and your free time. Places that you have previously associated with relaxation become a place for calls, online meetings, and work responsibilities. Your home becomes your office and you don’t know how to stop it.
Try to separate the time and space for work from the space for private life. Set the hours you work – write down the start and end time. After work, turn off your work messenger and email. Also, take care of the space you have available. If you have a small apartment and cannot arrange a separate room for work, you can make visual changes. After hours, hide documents and work accessories so that you do not have them in front of you. You can also make some changes yourself. Even changing your home tracksuit to a more casual outfit for the time you work can have a positive effect on your feelings.
2. Domestic chores – work distractions
When you spend time at home, you are distracted by completely different things than in the office. The household members may not understand that although you are at home, you work and expect help. Your pet sees you, enjoys your presence, and encourages you to have fun. You leave the desk several times – pick up letters, heat up dinner. One minute you are cleaning your desk and suddenly it’s the whole apartment. It’s very common to pick up different tasks while working at home.
In the beginning, if you do not live alone, explain to your household what your work looks like now. Specify working hours, tell them about the technologies you use, and what tasks you perform during the day. When they understand that working from home is just as important as the office work, they will be less likely to involve you in their affairs. If you leave your desk too often, try to set a specific day plan and include just the most important household chores you want to do.
3. How long did I work properly?
You seem to have left the workplace too many times. The task that took you an hour in the office took you half a day at home. The deadline for the project is approaching, and you think that you might delay the work of colleagues. You decide to work longer – in the end, you were too slow and inefficient. The truth can be completely different. You may be unnecessarily staying after hours. some tasks take you more time out of the office. For example, since you have limited infrastructure and contact with colleagues, who previously sat next to you, some tasks will take more time.
Try to track your time. Write down all your breaks, their start and finish, or use dedicated software that does the work for you. Many trackers on the market require you to start and stop the time, but there are also intelligent ones that measure how many hours you have worked. One of them is our program – TimesheetKiller.
Other tips to improve your remote work
We have gathered some basic tips on how to improve your work-life balance at the home office. Even if you think you are doing well, there is always room for improvement and a chance to feel even better!
- Prepare the workplace. Choose a place where you can sit comfortably. Check if you can adjust the lighting, chair settings, and clean up all the elements that can distract you.
- Set working hours. Work as much as you can and should, but avoid modifications. Short work hours and then catching up or doing overtime is very tiring.
- Talk to colleagues – set the rules. Choose how you want to communicate, specify when you are available.
- Find time to rest. Take breaks from looking at the screen, straighten up – just like you do in the office.
To sum up, remote work is a dream for some, a bane for others. If you belong to the second group, you need to make some changes in your everyday life. Maybe after implementing our tips, you will feel some relief and remote work might become surprisingly easy and actually reduce stress.