How To Find Balance When Working From Home
We’ve all encountered the unique challenges that come with working from home – whether it’s attempting to stay connected to the team, struggling to find motivation or trying to avoid interruptions from your little “co-workers.”
It’s already tough to find a work-life balance when you’re working at the office, but when you work where you also eat, sleep, cook and unwind, it’s that much harder.
If you’re fully remote or working from home here and there, here’s how the smallest changes in your routine and space can help you find the balance you need.
Starting Your Day
Try to stick to the same morning schedule and routine you have when you work in the office, including your morning commute time. Get up at the same time every morning, get dressed for the day (dressing for the job can help keep you in the work mindset) and have your morning coffee just as you would heading to the office. The only difference is that you’ll use that extra time you would be commuting to have a big breakfast, read the newspaper, exercise or take on a new hobby. Do not use this time for anything work-related. To help keep a balance between work and life in the morning, make sure work doesn’t start until your actual start time.
Taking Time For Lunch
When you’re working at home, it’s easy to lose track of time. Make a plan every day to take a lunch break. Take a short walk around the neighborhood or try out that nearby lunch spot. It’s important to take breaks to rejuvenate. You can also schedule lunch-and-learn video meetings with your team.
If you have kids, working from home when school’s out can be especially difficult. It’s important to set boundaries where you can. Have a dedicated workspace and let them know that when you’re there, you have to work. You could also create visuals that can help them know when it’s OK to come to you. For example, if you have a red cup on your desk, do not disturb. If you have a green cup on your desk, come on in.
It may be helpful to set up a few 5- or 10-minute breaks throughout your day and let the kids know that those breaks are dedicated to them. That’s when you can answer questions, help with something that’s not an emergency, listen to a story or play a quick game.
‘Leaving’ The Office
Walking out of the office usually signals the end of the workday, and our commute home gives us the time we need to decompress. When you don’t have a building to leave or a road to travel, you’ll need to get more creative.
If you’re able, create a dedicated office space that you can physically leave and not return to until the next workday. If your home doesn’t allow for a permanent, physical space devoted solely to work, make one that you can easily set up and take down each day. The act of walking out of that room and closing the door or packing up your things should help signal the end of the workday.
Whatever time you get off work, schedule an activity that can help you unwind. You could take the dog for a long walk, create a new exercise routine, meditate or even host an at-home happy hour with your spouse, friends or roommate.
Going Out Of Office
Consider using any extra PTO for a mental health day or staycation. When you take a vacation day or two, set yourself up for success. Communicate with your team and clients early on that you’ll be out of the office and will only address emergency issues. If you’re able, always assign a cover person who can handle clients’ needs while you’re away. Set up your email and voicemail with an out-of-office message that clearly states the dates you’ll be away and provide emergency contact information just in case.
More Advice On Working From Home
Working from home presents a new set of challenges that can throw you for a loop. If you’re struggling to adapt to remote work or even a new hybrid option, check out these work-from-home tips.For the safety of our team members, Rocket ProSM TPO is currently offering a hybrid option, so talk to your Account Executive about how they’re doing it successfully.