Work Life Balance can be tricky for most of us. But when you are working from home, the lines can be that much more murky and blurry at best. Your workspace is also your living space, which can prove to be an issue. I’ve been working from home for the past four years, and I constantly have to check myself as it relates to Work Life Balance to ensure that I am practicing what I preach; and I can tell you that it is very difficult.
Being as how many of you telecommute or run your businesses from the home-front, I’ve compiled a list of Six Work Life Balance Tips for Those Who Work from Home. Check out the list below:
Dedicated business hours
This can be difficult but it can be done. Make sure that when you are working, you have steady dedicated business or work hours. That way, you have a definite stop and start time, which will help you with balance and also with family time and priorities. When you don’t have a clear cut schedule, it can be difficult to turn it off and focus on other things.
When working from home, every area becomes our workspace. But this can also be counterproductive and can hinder balance. Have dedicated work spaces in your home for work and for tech, and leave other spaces in your home free areas that will allow you to relax and engage with your loved ones. One example of a Blackout Zone would be the bedroom. You want that to be a place of rest and intimacy, and not having the laptop or tablet in it will go a long way when it comes to getting true relaxation.
Engage and Tune In
When work is done, make sure you are engaged and tuned in to your family. Try not to text and be online during dinner, or other periods where the family is together. When talking to your loved ones, look them in the eye. Put down the technology and allow yourself moments free of work. The work will be there when you get done.
When working from home, make sure to take breaks. I utilize the 45-15 minute rule when at all possible. That is, for every 45 minutes of stationary time sitting down at my desk, I have 15 minutes of activity. I go downstairs, check snail mail, walk the dog, read a chapter of a book, something that allows me to take a break from work ever so often.
Try not to answer emails or work related calls or texts after a certain time. For me, that is 8pm. After that, I try my best not to reply to work related inquiries so that I can actually unplug from work. France has instituted a new policy which stipulates that employees have a ‘duty to disconnect’ from their work emails, work phones, etc. after the 6pm hour. Read more about that policy here.
Delegate or ask for help
With the popularity of Virtual Assistants, it makes it easier these days for us Work at Home folk to get help. If your workload runneth over, then perhaps delegate or hire an assistant to help out. Depending on your location and career, you may be able to hire an intern who can work for free in exchange for you teaching them the ropes. This can be a great way to lighten your load when you can, and give you a peace of mind (and your sanity back). Not sure if you need an assistant just yet? Read my post 5 Signs You May Need an Assistant to see if you are experiencing any of them.
It can be hard to balance working when you work where you also live, but with a little work and dedication, you can do it. Working from home doesn’t mean that you don’t have any time off, or can’t disconnect from the work at hand. It just means that your living space doubles as your workspace. You can still have balance and live a healthier life as well.
I hope these tips come in handy!
(and for more Work Life Balance tips and tools, make sure to download my free eBook, SHINE: 10 Tips for Effective Work Life Balance)
I never thought about the “Blackout Zone”. Great tip. Don’t want to mix business with leisure.
The Cubicle Chick says
Thanks for commenting. I know we all battle with the personal vs. professional. Having clear lines helps keep a healthy balance 🙂
Nancy Bobbert says
These are great tips. I have the hardest time establishing an evening cutoff.There is always one more thing to do. I’m going to be working hard at trying to follow these six tips so that I can relax a bit more. Thanks for posting these!