Work from home arrangements are generally a boon for both employers and employees. These let businesses continue operating and grant workers a source of steady income. However, life at work and life at home generally become harder to manage when both happen in the same place. Here are a few suggestions that you and your staff can follow to achieve balance while working remotely:
Maintain a regular schedule
Blocking off time for your job helps you focus your mind on work-related tasks and keep yourself from being distracted by things going on around your house. Setting up a routine also makes it easier for your teammates to know when you’re available.
If you’re familiar with the concept of timeboxing, then you’d know that keeping a work schedule also means setting when your workday ends. Implementing a hard stop for work eliminates our tendency to overwork and drive ourselves to exhaustion as the workweek progresses.
Start your day as if you’re still going to the office
We might not be aware of it, but our pre-workday habits — such as taking a shower, getting dressed, and having breakfast — help shift our minds to work mode. Without these, we find it easier to stay in bed longer, watch too much TV, or fall deeper into Twitter rabbit holes.
And even when we do decide to finally start working, it’s difficult to shake off the inertia of our current trajectory to take on a new one. This is why it’s best to pretend that you still need to make it to your office on time even if you’re working from home.
Dedicate a space for work
To help clear your mind of home-related tasks and focus more on work-related ones, set up a space where you can work in peace. Have it outside of your bedroom since the brain associates your sleep space with rest. Following this logic, also stay away from places and things that remind you of chores, such as piles of laundry and the vacuum cleaner. Tell the other members of your household that you'd appreciate it if they could keep things down while you're in your workspace.
Don’t think that setting up a home office is a hassle. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to finally create the workspace of your dreams. You don’t have to spend big — just use pieces you already have. If you enjoy having indoor plants, then adorn your space with these. Your house, your rules.
Take short sanity breaks often
Sitting and staring at a computer screen for hours on end can have detrimental effects on your back, eyes, and brain long after you’ve rendered your shift for the day. Make a habit of taking frequent short breaks to avoid all of these. If ever you’ve undergone physical training, you’d know that effort could only be sustained for a limited amount of time and would need to be followed by a commensurate amount of rest.
In the same manner, your body would benefit from getting rest from exerting mental effort. After 20 minutes to no more than an hour of work, stand up and walk away from your computer. Spend at least five minutes making yourself a cup of coffee, doing breathing exercises, running personal errands, or smelling the flowers in your garden. When you get back to your desk, you’ll find that your refreshed mind is able to focus more easily and tackle tasks faster than if you treated your workday like a marathon.
Companies in Kansas City rely on Umbrella to help them implement their work from home policies. Schedule a free consultation to find out how you can make the most out of having a remote workforce, too.