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How to balance work and personal life when working from home

By Ashleigh Ho


Flexible work has become the new norm. But while there are heaps of benefits of working from home, many employees are facing one big struggle: balancing work life with personal life. 

Why is it important to keep home and work life separate?

It can be really hard to keep home and work life separate, especially when it’s all happening in one location. Your computer is right there - surely it doesn’t hurt to answer just one email. But did you know that not being able to turn off your work brain can actually be detrimental to your wellbeing?

Continuously thinking about work can have a negative impact on your health - it doesn’t allow you to fully ‘switch off’, meaning that you won’t be completely invested in your hobbies, family, friends, and rest time. This can lead to you feeling burned out, fatigued, and even impact on your physical health. 

How to maintain a balance between work and personal life when working from home

  1. Find a place at home to become your 'office'.
  2. Set a schedule.
  3. Be firm with your colleagues about your working hours.
  4. Turn off your email notifications after hours.
  5. Take breaks.
If you’re thinking about negotiating a hybrid schedule with your boss – make sure you know what you’re going to do to balance your work and personal life. We’ve provided some useful steps:

1. Find a place at home to become your ‘office’.

Creating a designated ‘office’ area in your house will make sure your brain knows when it’s work time (and when it’s not). A home office or a spare room is an ideal place for this kind of set-up. 

If this is not possible, try to ensure that your workspace is set up somewhere that doesn’t double as a ‘play’ area. Your bed or in front of the TV are probably not the best spaces. If you are really struggling to find a place at home, you can always look into renting a desk space away from home. 

2. Set a schedule.

When you go into the office, you stay for a set amount of time like 9 to 5. This should be the same case at home. Set an alarm for your lunch break, as well as one for the end of the day – be sure to turn the snooze on if you’re one of those people that struggle to walk away!

3. Be firm with your colleagues about your working hours.

out of office

Make sure your colleagues know that you are only available during your set working hours, and be firm about it. Don’t answer emails or take calls after hours, include your availability in your email signature, and create an ‘out of office’ message for when you’re off the clock.

4. Turn off your email notifications after hours.

To avoid the temptation of answering those after-hours emails, turn off notifications altogether. If you have a work phone, turn that off too. 

5. Take breaks.

Many workers tend to eat at their desks when working from home, meaning they’re not getting a proper break. Without colleagues around to head out to lunch with, it’s easy to just keep plugging away without resting or eating a nourishing meal. It’s really important that you are taking your full breaks: they help you feel refreshed as well as reduce burnout. 

If your break time allows it, take a walk or step out for a coffee. Without an office commute, you don’t realise how much of that precious fresh air and sunshine you’re missing. 

How to improve productivity when working from home

Here’s a list of tips to help you be more productive at home:
  • Find a routine that works for you (e.g. difficult tasks in the morning, easy ones after lunch).
  • Keep your workspace organised and tidy.
  • Start a wellness routine – prioritising your mental health is always good for work.
  • Set daily goals – creating a daily checklist always helps!
  • Ask your manager if you can give some online training a go.
So, whether you’ve just started working from home or are two years in, we hope that these tips and tricks will help you be as productive as you can be. Are you looking to start a career that involves flexible work? Chat with the team at Upskilled and explore our online courses today. 
 
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