Working From Home?
Achieving a work-life balance is difficult at the best of times and when you're working from home it can be even harder to clock off. Sometimes you glance at your laptop and feel guilty because you left something unfinished, or you think "I'll just do another 1/2 an hour" and suddenly your whole evening has flown by!
A study has found that Britons have the worst work-life balance in western Europe, with the UK having the highest proportion of employees working more than 50 hours a week. This means that every year we Brits spend 325 more hours at work than our German counterparts; resulting in less time to relax.
The current climate means that more and more of us are working from home. Here are our top tips for maintaining a good work-life balance when home-working:
- Create a Designated Workspace - this will help you to distinguish between "work" and home. If you can't create your workspace in a separate room, try to avoid using somewhere like the bedroom which you associate with relaxation. Remember you need space to relax away from work.
- Get Dressed - get out of your pyjamas! No matter how comfy or glamorous they might be, they will not help you get your head into work mode. You don't need to wear a suit and it is perfectly acceptable to keep your slippers on; but ditch the pj's!
- Working Hours - make sure you maintain set working hours, just as you would if you were travelling to the office. Have a morning routine that gets you into "work mode" and make sure that you clock off at "going home" time. That way your work day won't spill over into your home life!
- Have Lunch - don't make the mistake of eating lunch at your desk. Set a specific time for lunch and stick to it; get up and move away from your work area and take your full lunch break. This will help you reset and refresh and make you more productive when you get back to it.
- Less Productive Days - some days will be less productive than others - just like they are in the office. It's a fact that you may as well acknowledge from the beginning. You will have days which are not as productive as you would like them to be - tomorrow will be better.
- Set Boundaries - Don't answer emails or take calls after you have clocked off. Remember that you set the expectation to others about what is ok.
- Accept Imperfection - trying to achieve a balance between your work life and your home life will not be seamless or perfect. Accept this early on, don't beat yourself up about it, be kind to yourself and you will be much more likely to get the best out of both worlds.
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