Working remotely is an increasingly viable option for many professionals in the United States. An estimated 70% of the global workforce works at least one day a week from a remote location, and it's easy to see why. Remote work allows you to form your schedule around your life. You can cut the commute out of your day and spend more time at home, but it can sometimes make maintaining a work-life balance difficult. To ensure you are keeping a healthy balance, follow these eleven tips.
Make A Schedule
Just like when you are working from an office, you should create a consistent schedule. A set schedule can help you keep a reliable routine of work hours and off-work hours and can also help you control the number of hours you are working. If you find that you are regularly working outside your schedule, adjust your hours to better fit your work day. This way, you won’t have to work long hours each day.
Communicate with Your Team
Now that you have a daily schedule in place, you should consistently notify your team members of your work hours. If you use a messaging service like Workmates to communicate, remember to set your status during work hours. You could also create an online calendar to track the hours of the whole team. This is especially helpful when your team members are spread out over several time zones. An online directory can also help organize your co-workers’ contact information if you work with a large team. Even when you work remotely, it's essential to keep yourself engaged, and by staying in contact with your fellow teammates, you can work more cohesively as a group.
Create a Work-Only Zone
When you work remotely, it's tempting to set up your office anywhere in your house. Some days you might work from the couch and other days from your kitchen counter. While this might seem like a perfect set up, it can create a distraction and poor work-life balance. Instead, tailor the workspace to your needs. Set up boundaries and only allow yourself to do work in that space. Prevent your work from spilling into your time off by limiting where and when you can do business.
Manage Finances Online
With more time at home, you might find it hard to run errands during the day. It can be even harder if you are working off-hours. If you typically visit your local bank once or twice a week, consider removing this chore from your list and finding an online bank that works for you. Simply deposit paper checks from home by using your smartphone’s camera to upload a picture to the bank’s app. Plus, you can track your budget and manage your money anytime without having to interrupt your work day.
Find After-Work Hobbies
Working remotely can sometimes make it hard to step away from the office. Make it easier by finding hobbies you are passionate about. Days can feel repetitive if you don't have something to break up the work week. Think about joining a gym, taking up painting, or even just getting out of the house for some fresh air. You could even host a weekly game night with family friends to get some much-needed social time. A hobby not only ensures a proper work-life balance, but it can also help you learn something new in your personal life.
Eat Proper Meals
Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to eat when work gets hectic. To make the most of your work day, you should be eating nutritionally balanced meals throughout the day. If you are prone to skipping meals, you could keep some healthy snacks close by to avoid a blood sugar crash and feeling cranky. If you don't take care of yourself, you could find it hard to focus on your work and get tasks done. Self-care can also promote a healthy work-life balance by allowing you more time for yourself.
Get Ready for Work
If you don't have to worry about commuting, you might feel like hitting the snooze button and sleeping in, but this won't help you be productive. In the morning, get yourself ready as if you are heading to the office. Wake up early, take a shower, get dressed, and eat a hearty breakfast. A set morning routine will help get you in the proper mindset for working remotely.
Take Timed Breaks
When work is getting stressful, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. To protect your mental health and work-life balance, you should commit to taking scheduled breaks throughout the day. Your breaks don’t have to be lengthy amounts of time, but they should involve getting up from your desk and moving around. Pause work and get a fresh cup of coffee from the kitchen or stand up to do some stretches. Either way, your breaks should give you time to decompress and keep your work-life balance proportional.
Get Daily Exercise
Working at a desk all day is hard on your mind and body. To promote a healthy work-life balance, you should be exercising daily. If you don't have time to head to the gym, do a simple activity like taking your dog for a walk, or doing a quick yoga routine. Studies have shown that as little as 15 minutes a day can help improve concentration, memory, and creativity. Daily exercise can also help with reducing stress.
Organize Your Workspace
Even with a dedicated workspace, you can still get distracted by clutter. If you find yourself with a messy desk, take time each morning or night to clean up your office. Organize your papers and put away any office supplies that are sitting out. You can even consider going entirely paperless to help save storage space.
Try a Change of Scenery
Occasionally, you might find yourself hitting a wall. While working remotely can be beneficial, you might find it hard to work creatively. If this is the case, try changing up where you work remotely once in a while. A new environment can help break up the monotony of remote work while feeding your social side. Think about getting some work done at a local cafe with free wifi, or using a coworking space to find fellow professionals. Coworking spaces can also be great areas for video calls or conferences when your home may not be a quiet place.
With more companies offering remote jobs, the ability to work from home has become easier than ever. Remote employees work harder and happier than traditional staff. Engagement among remote workers is also higher than ever with new technology that allows for instant messaging, employee recognition, video conferencing, and online collaboration. If you are lucky enough to work remotely, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a healthy work-life balance. You can still enjoy the benefits of working at home while minimizing the disadvantages. By keeping yourself accountable to the boundaries you set, you can create a happy work and home life.