With the current restrictions brought on by lockdowns because of the spreading pandemic, many businesses around the world have been forced to adopt more flexible working arrangements to continue operations. Remote work is one of the more common measures since it has already been enjoying its popularity even before the imposed quarantines.
Ironically, remote work or in this case, working from home, now faces a challenge that it was originally intended to help solve – work-life balance. The scales are tipping and it’s not always towards work anymore.
If you’re working remotely and have been finding it harder to juggle your professional and personal obligations, don’t worry. This article can help. If you’re an entrepreneur, this may also help make your business more time-efficient.
Your Schedule is Your Bible
At the core of a successful remote work arrangement is a well-made and well-kept schedule. It is the single most important part of your journey to work-life balance.
First, your schedule will keep work and life separate. They’re already sharing the same space, don’t let them share the same time too. This works both ways. Set start and end times for your work and try your best to stick to them. Work only when your schedule dictates. According to Forbes, you should even stop checking emails once the workday is done.
Second, having a solid schedule lets your team know when they can reach you. One of the inherent challenges of working from home is not being able to communicate with colleagues readily or as much. If they know that you stick to your allotted times, they can set meetings, ask you questions, and send you tasks when you’re actually in. This prevents your work from spilling over to your downtime.
Third, your schedule sets your body clock. Having a regular working schedule signals to your body when it needs to be at its most alert. After doing this a while, you’ll find that you’re more productive when you need to be. And when it’s time for rest, your body will know too.
Make it a Big Deal
When switching between roles – couch potato and workhorse, overlaps can occur unless you adopt certain practices to keep them as separate as possible.
Prepare a workstation. According to Time, you should set up a place where all you will do is work. Working at the dinner table may be convenient, but it will also send mixed signals to your brain and you may find yourself reaching for more snacks than your waistline can take. The same is true for taking your laptop to your bed. Prepare your station in a neutral space where there won’t be any distractions. This will help you to literally go to and leave work when you need to.
Wear something better than your PJs. Granted, answering emails while wearing your pajamas can be both empowering and hilarious. But making it a point to wear something more adds another layer of separation between roles and again, this can help you switch easier.
Make plans for work and for after work. Planning your work ahead of time will prompt you to action once work starts. This will create a sort of catalyst to start your day. At the same time, you should also make plans for after work. You can’t really go to the cinema right now, but you can still plan movies at home. Like with starting work, these plans will motivate you to finish on time.