Since the beginning of the pandemic, working from home has become the new norm for many businesses. Although remote working offers employees a great deal of flexibility, it can also create pressure and an unhealthy work-life balance. Losing that precious equilibrium can negatively affect the mental health of employees, as well as their professional and personal relationships. In this article, we help you discover ways to achieve a balanced life and improve your well-being.
Is Your Work-Life Balance Healthy?
It’s easy to get caught up in your daily routine and not realize that your work is taking up a larger part of your life than it should. However, if you pay a little attention, the signs of poor work-life balance can become rather evident. Some of those include: regularly working overtime, neglecting your physical health, being constantly on edge, devoting little to no time to yourself, and struggling with physical and mental exhaustion.
All of the above can significantly affect your relationships with those close to you. Lack of a healthy work-life balance means you can’t find the time to be with your family or friends. Not to mention, if you always have work on the back of your mind, any time you do spend with them ends up not being meaningful. As a result, you waste your true chances to destress by leaning on your support system. It’s important to remember that while you can always continue work tomorrow, nothing can make up for lost experiences and memories with our loved ones.
6 Ways To Improve Your Well-Being As A Remote Employee
Juggling a full-time job and a family while trying to make time for yourself and your social life is undoubtedly a very challenging task. This is why you might think that work-life balance is actually unattainable. Fortunately, this isn’t the truth. Here are 6 tips to help you lead a more balanced and fulfilling life:
1. Create A Routine And Stick With It
This is your cue to analyze your tasks and distribute them at designated times throughout the day. Maybe you take an hour once you clock in to catch up on emails, or you set a “no-meetings” block of time to get work done without interruptions. Urgent tasks will obviously come up and force you to change your schedule from time to time, but this technique will help you feel more productive and in control of your day.
2. Set Boundaries
This might be the most important piece of advice for people who want to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Just because you work from home, that doesn’t mean you have to be available 24/7. Establish your working hours and make sure they are visible to your coworkers as well. For example, you can set your Slack availability so that you only receive notifications when you’re clocked in. Once your workday is over, switch off your laptop and work phone and focus on your personal needs.
3. Make After-Work Plans
Remote work fatigue is real and can leave you feeling as if you have no motivation or energy by the end of the workday. A way to get out of a rut as a remote employee is to make after-work plans. You can go for drinks with coworkers or friends, join your local gym or yoga class, or take a long walk to get your body moving after all those hours of sitting. Having something to look forward to makes you go through your tasks with more efficiency and in a better mood.
4. Make Your Health A Priority
It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when work is taking up a considerable chunk of your day and your brainpower. However, there is no way to achieve a work-life balance if you’re not mindful of your health. Make it your priority to get even a few minutes of exercise in your day, have proper meals (preferably without working simultaneously), and sleep enough. Once you commit to a new and healthier lifestyle, you’ll notice that you’re more energized and less stressed.
5. Take Time To Decompress
Your mental health is just as important. That said, it’s time you incorporated breaks into your professional routine. Remote employees work longer hours because there’s no one there to remind them to take a few minutes off the desk. Set reminders to cook a quick meal or do ten minutes of meditation. Don’t view it as slacking off. What you’re actually doing is putting some distance between yourself and your work and helping your creativity recharge.
While we’re on the subject of breaks, we shouldn’t forget to mention vacation. It’s great that you’re a dedicated employee, but PTO is your right, and you should use it when needed. Use your holiday to clear your head and shake up your routine. When work pressure gets to be too much, take a mental health day and do whatever makes you feel refreshed. Besides, an overworked and unmotivated employee is no good to themselves or their company.
6. Establish A Home-Office Space
Having a designated workspace in your home is vital for a healthy work-life balance. If you’re working from the couch, it’s much easier to get distracted halfway through the day or keep your laptop on when you’re supposed to be having a movie night. In addition, a quiet space keeps you away from the distractions in your home, such as your roommates or family. Whether that space is your home office or a desk in the corner of your living room, it should allow you to be productive and successfully unplug when your office hours end.
Is Work-Life Balance A Lost Battle?
As the years go by and our personal and professional responsibilities keep increasing, it’s becoming harder to maintain an optimal work-life balance. As a result, employees end up feeling fatigued, lacking motivation and engagement, as well as suffering from physical and mental issues. However, if you’re willing to become more mindful of your personal needs, assertive with your colleagues, and organized, you’ll discover that leading a balanced life is a choice and not an unattainable concept. Hopefully, the tips we shared will help you make the right changes in that direction.
Download our eBook Beating Burnout: The Ultimate Employee Wellness Guide For Remote Workforces to support and nurture your teams from afar.