That title prompts an interesting question: Should it be Life – Work balance instead? After all, when you get right down to the 24 hours of each daily rotation of the planet, one should end up with more clocked in on the ‘life’ portion.
This is when the big ‘however’ enters the discussion. That is the case when you work from home. It sure can be difficult to maintain a balance between your work and personal lives when you’re right there in the midst of your whole 24 hours. Sure, there’s the freedom to take care of things around the house or run errands during the day. But, really, is that the balance you’re looking for?
When working remotely, it’s way too easy to feel like you're always working. There’s simply no separation between your home and office. This can result in feeling like you’re on a seesaw, trying to find balance, or in unnoticed work fatigue. Now’s the time to take steps to bring your life and work hours into better balance. One goal is to appreciate the benefits of working remotely from home.
The Beauteous Benefits of Remote Work
At first glance, the benefits of working remotely can look like mere tidbits in a vast land of gems. That’s easy to say now that you are working from home, and really don’t want to return to commuter traffic and day-to-day, in-the-office politics scene. With remote workdays, many of us:
- Can work in our sweats or other comfy clothes.
- Manage our active work hours to accommodate the errands, family schedules, and our peak working hours.
- Gain increased creativity and productivity, especially with physical activity breaks spaced throughout work hours.
- Find the ability to release tension at the end of your workday. Instead of facing a grueling drive or public transportation commute.
- Can sleep better and have less stress without those hours on the road or in the train.
- Enjoy more autonomy and privacy, particularly if a workplace doesn’t respect these.
- Save the expenses related exclusively to commuting.
- Have fewer distractions than when we’re working in an office, if that seems possible!
The 10,000 Foot View of Life
Make believe you’re a pilot. Then again, you are one! The craft you’re flying belongs to you and those who are on board. That’s why the 10,000-foot view. You’re cruising with your loved ones and closest friends.
From this vantage point, it’s easy to see all that life holds, including work. For some, that means leaving home each workday, commuting who knows how far, and being there for hours on end. Chances are that’s not usually the case for you.
As you cruise along viewing your life, consider all the life hours that don’t involve work. There’s sleep and food-related or mundane tasks. Wow, think of all that involves, even if someone else does most of the cooking. (Wouldn’t that be sweet?!) Then there's the chores and hopefully a bit of fun here and there. Gee whiz, what about physical activity?
There’s sure a lot to pack into those fleeting 24 hours! The point is to do so in a way that limits stress and makes you happy to be working remotely from home.
Landing on a Balanced Plane
In this case, the balanced plane is feeling in charge of your work–life balance. Fortunately, getting there is like flying on a clear day with little wind. Well, sometimes there’ll be a little headwind to deal with. Good thing you can handle that with some optimism! Keeping that in mind, here are some ideas for getting to that place where you feel like you’re managing the seesaw or plane’s balance. (Not the other way around…)
- Set clear boundaries between your home life and work life.
- Make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day, including those for taking Wakeout action.
- Set specific hours that are devoted to work, helping you get into a productive groove and mindset.
- Keep a designated area for remote work-from-home space, making it comfortable and separate from the other areas of your home, if possible. This helps with maintaining normalcy and balance.
- Stay connected with colleagues, both remote and at the office. Check-ins and video calls help to stay connected, stimulate fresh ideas, and escape "I can't do it" hurdles.
- Leave open time for family, friends, and spontaneity, including that for yourself. Doing so boosts mood and mental health wellbeing.
As Wakeout’s friendly green bear Wakefield says, “Balance your workday with plenty of physical activity breaks and you’ll become buoyant...just like me!”
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