Achieving Work/Life Balance When Working from Home

With more and more people working from home instead of the office, the lines between work and the rest of your life are becoming less defined. Here are some tips on maintaining a healthy work/life balance when working from home.

Get dressed

There's a reason why some schools require uniforms and workplaces have established dress codes. Getting dressed activates our body and mind, making for a more productive day. While working remotely it's easy to roll out of bed and turn on your computer (and with a laptop you may find you don't have to leave bed at all), but nothing screams "unprofessional" more than disheveled hair and pajamas. Maintain your routine and put those career clothes to work.

Set a dedicated work space

A man multitasking

It's easy to set up shop at the kitchen counter, but be prepared for regular interruptions. From others sharing the space, or even the temptation to snack or relax with a cold beverage, the kitchen may not help you achieve the productivity you're looking for. In the same way that we set space for our mind and body to rest, we need to create a space for our mind and body to work.

Define set work hours for your team

The added flexibility that comes with working remotely is both a blessing and a curse. Having the ability to take a longer lunch break here and there to accommodate doctor appointments, car repairs, etc. is helpful. As a result, you may find yourself making up hours earlier or later in the day. While these types of situations are common, make sure to keep then rare and not the norm. The majority of your team should work typical workday hours.

Get outside

This is one we've heard before, even when we're physically in the workplace. But sometimes you're in the middle of a project or in back-to-back meetings throughout the day, making it challenging to find a moment to yourself. Though you're working at home, the need to get outside is still there, and it's still important. If you're lucky enough to have a private outdoor space like a backyard or balcony, make time (or even take a meeting) outside. If you don't have access to a private outdoor space, and you're concerned about maintaining proper social distancing, try planning a time to go outside when traffic is low, like first thing in the morning.

Establish quiet hours

Know your boundaries! You may find yourself working more hours when you're at home because it's too easy to log in while making breakfast, and stay logged in well into the evening. Programs like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Basecamp,, etc. all have quiet features that you can set either on the team or individual level to snooze notifications. Make sure you set yours up accordingly so that you're not constantly "on" or available to colleagues after hours. The messages will still be there when you log in tomorrow, so put the phone down and make sure you get some down time after a long day. Quiet hours are also particularly helpful when you work with team members in different time zones, and whose days may begin much earlier than yours.

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Date: 11/3/2020 12:00:00 AM

Catherine Jewell
Currently, I am working from home. I have many difficulties in balancing work and life. Your article has many great ideas. I will apply these ideas to achieve work and life balance. Thanks for sharing
1/6/2021 8:52:06 AM

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