Working from home can be a great way to create a better work-life balance, providing you arrange your schedule appropriately. Although people are often more productive when working from home, this can have downsides for employees. When your work and home lives are so closely connected, it can be hard to switch off and leave work behind, even in the evenings or over the weekend.
In fact, studies have shown that employees tend to work longer hours from home, which isn’t always beneficial. Overwork can have a significant impact on your well-being, and it can decrease your efficiency too. Due to this, it’s important to find ways to manage your schedule as a remote worker. For inspiration, take a look at these top tips for organizing downtime when working from home:
1. Work During Set Hours
Instead of getting up extra early or working into the evening, give yourself set hours to get your tasks done. If you typically worked from 9am-5pm in an office environment, for example, keep to these hours when you’re working from home too.
Having a defined start and end time will ensure that you still retain as much downtime as you would have enjoyed while working on site. In addition to this, knowing you’re going to finish work at a set time can give you the motivation to increase your efficiency to ensure you stay on top of your workload.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Working for long periods of time may seem like the most effective way to optimize your productivity levels but, in actual fact, it can have the opposite effect. Taking regular breaks can help you to stay more focused while you’re working and increase your efficiency. As a result, workers who schedule routine breaks into their day typically perform better than those who don’t.
If you want to create a schedule that works for you, try a range of time management techniques to find which one works best. The Pomodoro technique involves working for 25 minutes before taking a five-minute break, as well as a longer break of 15-30 minutes every two hours, for example.
3. Stay Active
When you take a break from work, try to step away from your workstation and do something completely different from your usual tasks. Being active during this time helps to ensure you aren’t thinking about work, but it can also enhance your physical well-being.
Playing golf at home, moving through a few Yoga asanas or even going for a run during your lunchbreak can be a great way to incorporate physical activity into your working day. When you’re working remotely, you miss out on walking around the office, popping out to grab a coffee or going for lunch with colleagues, which means your daily activity can decrease. By using your downtime to do something active, you can ensure that working from home enhances your physical well-being, rather than diminishing it.
4. Switch Devices Off
During downtime, be sure to switch your work devices off and focus on other things. If you use a personal laptop, tablet or phone for work, switching off notifications or even temporarily blocking the apps can help to ensure you aren’t tempted to check your work emails or respond to incoming messages.
Creating a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Many people assume that working from home is ‘easier’ than working on site, but this isn’t always the case. To benefit from a healthy work-life balance when working from home, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to protect your downtime. By doing so, you can enjoy the benefits that working from home offers to keep your professional and personal lives separate from one another.