Working from home means more flexible working hours and more free time. Here are some tips to achieve a better work-life balance.
In recent months, many of us have had our first taste of working from home, whilst continuing to carry out our household duties as normal. Home working is often mistakenly associated with smart working, but the latter actually has a very different meaning and does not simply entail carrying out one’s work from home. In fact, this so-called flexible working allows the employees of a company to choose their own working hours, tools and physical place of work.
However, when well organised, home working can also boast various professional and personal benefits. First of all, it allows for more flexible working hours and the time saved on the daily commute can be allocated to more enjoyable activities: sport, family and friends.
Furthermore, if you are lucky enough to be able to work in a quiet, distraction-free environment, then it will be easier to stay focused and increase productivity. This is in part due to the physical distance, as there is less pressure from the management and “competition” stress is reduced - thus promoting greater peace of mind.
On the other hand, there are also many lesser-known disadvantages: drastically reduced colleague interactions, a sedentary lifestyle and the fact that a lack of schedule can cause us to slip into an unrewarding routine. As a result, it is important to establish certain rules that will allow us to better organise the working day and enjoy the convenience of working from home.
1. Take breaks
While there are plenty of opportunities to leave the desk in the office, at home, we risk forgetting the outside world and sitting in the same position in front of the computer for far too many hours. For this reason, it is essential to take various breaks throughout the day.
2. Separate work and personal spaces
If possible, try and create a noise and distraction-free workspace at home, complete with a comfortable chair and spacious desk. In this way, you can stay focused and complete your various tasks more quickly, in turn, gaining more time to devote to the things you like doing. By dividing the spaces and allocating “work” and “you” time, you will find that you’re able to switch off easier and enjoy some well-earned relaxation at the end of the day.
3. Leave the house
Make a point to leave the house at least once a day, even if just for a walk. This will do wonders for both your mind and body, after many hours spent cooped up in front of the computer.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to various health problems: take advantage of the more free time you have by exercising indoors or outdoors as a way of keeping fit. Furthermore, by taking care of yourself, you will increase your self-esteem and serotonin levels - the feel-good hormone - and help prevent the onset of poor posture-related problems.
5. Maintain social relationships
Pick up the phone or use digital means to combat isolation and keep in touch with colleagues, relatives and friends. This will help you feel less isolated and break up the working day with pleasant breaks.
These tips will not only help improve your productivity, but also enable you to maintain a good balance between your private and professional life, which, in turn, will lead to “smarter” home working.