Work-life balance is simply the distribution of one’s time between their work, family and personal engagements. Having flexibility with work makes a balanced work-life, and this is one of the biggest advantages of working remotely. However, staying productive with a great work-life balance as a remote worker can be quite challenging.
The need for the right work-life balance as a remote worker
Having a great work-life balance has had remote workers being motivated and productive at work, and feeling more in control. This is one major reason for their choice to work remotely.
However, having a poor work-life balance, even for workers with physical office location has tremendous effects on the health (physical and mental in form of stress, anxiety and a lack of control) and social life of the workers. With less time for personal interests, family or friends, it easy to feel overworked and slow on your productivity level. You then feel the need to work more outside work hours, but these worsen the whole challenge.
Tips for building the right work-life balance
In discussing 8 tips for maintaining a healthy work and personal life, it is important to note the key to finding the right balance is prioritization. Let’s break this word (prioritization) into bits we can hold on to below.
Stick with schedules
Having a different work schedule that you don’t stick with, can have your time bounds broken. It then becomes unclear for your team to know what time they can or can’t reach you. Setting a schedule that you stick to will help. You then have fixed time to get off work into personal activities.
Set boundaries using communication tools
Once you have fixed schedules. The next is relating your schedules with your team and setting up those schedules on relevant communication tools such as Slack and Google Calendar. These ease collaboration with your team across various geo-locations.
Space up tasks using breaks
Not having coworkers, calls, tasks requiring movements remind you of the need to take breaks at various times of the workday using up needed breaks to work. Positive distractions from work are good for the mind and body.
Hence, you should have self-imposed short breaks. This could be personal errands, getting a walk with your dog, or getting into a more relaxing engagement. You will feel energized and productive to tackle more tasks on your list.
Have specific after-work hour engagements
It is easy to feel the need to check emails, stay logged in on work when you do not make plans for other engagements after work hours. Once you keep in mindset activities you have after working hours, it becomes easier to get off work completely. So, make plans. Have drinks with friends, a work-out session, going visiting, etc.
Get your mind and body into an office setting mode
Waking up late and grumpy in the same casual wear that says “you don’t feel like working”, places your mind and body in an off mode towards work. Use the extra time others spend commuting to an office, to prepare, clean up, get breakfast, dressed and prepare your mind for the right mental space to work. This keeps you more in control and productive the whole day.
Choose a sacred workspace
Since working from home can be more distracting than from the office, choosing the right workspace is important. Use a specific desk, room, or lobby at home that’s clutter-free and speaks of work-only to your brain. That way, outside such workspace it becomes easy to switch into other tasks.
Get used to knocking off tasks as they come
Don’t get into the habit of procrastinating on tasks, just because you have the flexibility to do. This can end with you overloading your work schedule and working outside working hours to meet up. Have those meetings at the set time and get into the mode of knocking tasks off as they come.
Be deliberate about your health while working
How close are snacks and fizzy drinks to you? Closer than healthy meals, I guess. Make time out to get healthy meals during your breaks, get nourished and recharged for the remaining tasks of the day.