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WorkLife Balance While Working from Home

Posted on 2020-07-08 11:08:27


If you are one of the more fortunate of the employment market, your work role enables you to work from home. From March of 2020, millions have been doing just that during the Covid-19 Lockdown. As the number of people testing positive for the virus has increased through the summer, regions of the United States are once again heading into Lockdown; many residents never left the state of suspended animation. 

For those new to the need for the necessity to work from home, there are several ways to attain some semblance of balance in the household, especially if you also have children to look after. Here are some tips Sound IT has found useful to maintain individual sanity, keep some sense of camaraderie with coworkers, and serve our customers to our best ability during challenging times.

A Space of Your Own

Only a few of us have the luxury of home offices. For the majority of us, we have to make do with the space on offer in our homes. For many, it's their kitchen or dining tables. For others, it's their coffee tables or even night stands in their bedrooms. Whatever the place, set the work area up as you would a space in a cubicle at the office. And stake it out! 

Make sure that roommates or family members know explicitly that the space is just for you to perform your work. Psychologically, having a space of your own primes you for concentration and a work frame of mind. Paired with a work schedule, you'll actually feel more productive than you would in an office environment.

Set Working Hours

Either way, whether you live alone or with family members, it's tough to set and maintain a regular schedule for work. Keeping a regular schedule when working from home actually begins the night before. At least an hour before bed, turn off all electronics. That means the TV, too. 

Sometimes, though, our brains are so tired we feel we can't do anything but watch TV before sleep. Find a substitute that does not rile up your emotions to the degree that a TV drama or action movie can. Try to wake up at the same time each morning.

Give yourself time enough to set the kids' trajectory of activity for at least the next few hours. Make an announcement about when you'll be available to meet with family members again, talk with them, even play with the kids.

Use Your Breaks Wisely

Everyone has a point after which they are too fatigued to concentrate. That happens often with computer work. While the tendency is to work as much and fast as we can until the next interruption, try to set work periods. Use a timer, if you must. Set the timer for 20 minutes or 30 minutes or 40 minutes; whatever time you feel you're able to concentrate best and do your best work. 

Tell the children in your life when you'll be taking your break, to reduce the interruptions while you're working. If possible, do something around the home that has nothing to do with work. Take about 10- to 15-minutes, whatever amount of time you feel comfortable with. Be sure to step away from the computer and your smartphone. 

Do a load of laundry, wash a few dishes, tidy the living room, stare out the window with your favorite beverage in hand. You need to rest your mind and move your body to refresh your concentration muscles. 

Put your work away at the end of the day.

Digital technology and the expectation in society that you must respond to every notification has added a great deal of stress to workers' lives. If you have work that crosses time zones, noisey notifications can be incredibly disruptive after work hours. 

So, after your normal work hours, turn off the computer, and turn off the noise on the notifications on the smartphone. Let your coworkers or customers know what your normal work hours are and that you will be unavailable during that time. There is no time for "me-time" if you don't set boundaries on your work.

And without daily rest and recuperation, you can't be your best Self with your family members.

Dress for Success

For those not well-acquainted with working from home, the impulse is great to perform your work in your pajamas. Actually, psychologically, you're confusing your body and your mind when you do not change your "costume" from the one you wear when you sleep into the one you wear when you work.

So, take a few moments to go through the same rituals you would normally when you commute to work. The rituals provide a passageway through time to provide your psyche the space it needs to a different way of being in the world. Tell your body and mind it is time to focus on work during the day by dressing neatly but comfortably for the day ahead.

Reward Yourself

At the end of the work day, treat yourself nicely. Try the best you can to create a "bubble" for yourself. It might be listening to your favorite music with headphones on, or watching a TV program. Some people like to drink a glass of wine or a bottle of beer after they have finished work, while others like a jog or some other exercise. Throughout the day, visualize your taking advantage of that reward at the end of the day, and consider how good it feels. 

The visualizations will give you a boost through the day, especially during the afternoon, when we all feel a little tired. Whatever it is that gives you a bit of respite and restores your energy level to what it was before lunchtime, treat yourself to it. You'll thank yourself for it.


Give SoundIT a call at (425) 654-2502 for more ideas about how you maintain your balance while working from home.