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Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance With WFH

01 December 2023

Remote work has plenty of advantages. From the greater flexibility to the relaxation of being able to work from anywhere you want, there are plenty of ways WFH can be beneficial to your work life.

But while this flexibility is great, it can also come with some extra pressure you wouldn't feel when you're at work. In fact, it may even leave you more tired after work than if you were going to the office, and in some cases, you might be working more hours than you did before.

Work-life balance is important though, so this should be addressed! Here are some ways to improve your work-life balance with WFH.

Why is Work-Life Balance Important?

Having good work-life balance is important, even if you weren't working remotely. Nobody wants to spend their entire life working, even though work is an important part of life. Distributing time between your professional and personal obligations is necessary to make sure that your work life is going smoothly, as well as your life at home.

After all, you don't want to work all day only to come home to a mess waiting for you to sort it out. Work-life balance is also important in terms of giving some time to yourself to refresh your mind and rejuvenate yourself. You need to engage with some personal interests and hobbies as well, if you don't want to be completely burnt out.

Bad work-life balance can impact physical and mental health, motivation, productivity and happiness. Work-life balance is actually one of the major contributors towards living a successful life, especially in a capitalistic world.

How to Get a Good Work-Life Balance

So, we know work-life balance is important, but how do you actually balance work and life? When working in-office, you do tend to have a sort of separation between work and home, since work is limited to the office, and your time is divided between at work and not at work.

With remote work, this gets tricky, but there are ways to get things done.

Set a Schedule

One of the most important things to keep in mind about WFH is that it's crucial to keep a schedule for yourself, and stick to it. When you are allowed the flexibility to work where and when you want, you can be tempted to slack off and work later, or spending a lot more time working than you're really paid for.

The reason in-office work makes such a good boundary (as long as you're not consistently working overtime) is because you follow a pretty strict schedule. You have to be at work by a certain time, so you wake up accordingly, eat and commute accordingly. When the clock strikes, you know you're done for the day and can head home.

Remote work doesn't have this built-in schedule, so you'll have to make it for yourself. Designate your work hours and stick to them. Take your necessary breaks, but try not to spend those hours doing anything else. Also be consistent about them - if you work 8 hours a day, don't keep adjusting the starting time. Having a schedule allows you to plan for your week better and allows your teammates to know exactly when you'd be available.

Plan Your Breaks

One way that WFH can hinder your productivity is because you either take too many breaks, or too little. When working at home, you may be tempted to complete your whole day's work in a few hours so you can get more time to yourself, and this may mean you don't take any of the breaks you need.

On the flip side, you might think that since you're at home already, you can slack off a bit if you want. Take a nap on the couch, scroll through your social media. After all, you can make up for it after hours if need be.

This is not a good approach. While taking breaks is a good thing, you should be smarter about them. When you're planning out your work day, plan for breaks as well. Be realistic about them, and allow some adjustment here and there. You should be taking short breaks after each task (about 5-10 mins) and one longer break in the middle of the work day.

Use these breaks to take care of some of your personal obligations, such as tossing the laundry into the machine, which shouldn't take more than a few minutes, or putting the dried dishes away.

This way, you can get your chores done at home, while also getting your work done. By making yourself pay attention to something else for a while, you'll also be clearing your mind so that when you get back to your task, you'll be able to approach it from a fresher perspective.

Separate Work and Life

This may be a bit tricky to wrap your head around: what do you mean separate work and life? Aren't they already separate?

You might think they are, but they may not necessarily be. For example, you may think your work life is separate from your personal life, but if you're working in your room at your desk, then you're working in the same environment you'd expect to relax in and vice versa.

Or, as another example, if you work in your pajamas, you never manage to get into that mindset of time to work that you would if you were getting ready to go to the office. Separation of work and life doesn't just mean establishing a difference between the tasks you do for work and your chores or hobbies at home, it also means putting a tangible barrier between the two.

Your workspace should be separate from your relaxing space. This means you can't work in your room (especially not your bed) and ideally you wouldn't be working at the dinner table or the living room either. Having a separate, quiet space to work in, and when you're done with work, you should be leaving that space.

Similarly, dress up for the workday, even if you're not actually going anywhere. Putting on clothes that are slightly too formal to be wearing at home would make you feel that you are, in fact, at work rather than just sitting in one part of your house. When you change into your pajamas at night, you'll find that there was a difference between how you felt while working and how you felt once you were done!

Establishing that difference helps make sure you're not working overtime, or after hours, nor slacking off when you're meant to be working.

Set Up A Good Workstation

Your workstation has a greater effect on your productivity than you think it does. You may think you're more comfortable working from your bed or your couch, but not only are you putting yourself at risk of problems like pains and sprains, but you're also taking the productivity away.

Having a temporary workstation at your dinner table when you work at the office most days is one thing, but if you work remotely as a permanent thing, you need to have a good workstation to maximize your productivity.

Your workstation should be focused around ergonomics so that you don't hurt yourself while working. From posture to positioning to the amount of time you spend sitting at your desk - all of these should be taken into account when setting up your workstation.

FlexiSpot's Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk is a good example of what an at-home workstation desk should be like.

The height adjustment is the most important feature of this desk, since it allows you to move it up and down to whichever height works best for you. This will help make sure that your position and posture remains correct and you're not at risk of injuring yourself. The height adjustment also lets you stand and work, which can be useful for when you're tired of sitting. It also helps offset some of the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time.

The Comhar desk is also elegant and sleek, with a minimalist design that works regardless of where you place it. The tabletop is large and spacious, but the desk itself takes up minimal floor space, so you don't have to worry about finding space to keep it. Even a small corner of the room works well enough.

It comes with an embedded drawer to keep your things in so your desk stays clean and tidy when you're not using it. As a whole, the desk is not just great in terms of aesthetics, but also provides maximum efficient functionality.

With a good desk and workstation, it's a lot easier to focus on your work, and thus make sure your work doesn't spill over into your personal time. This makes work-life balance a lot easier for you to manage.