When working from home, the boundaries between work life and personal life can become blurred, often causing burnout. There can be a lot of things at home that might cause distractions leading you to be less productive and underperforming at work.
We have put together 10 tips for a better work-life balance in remote IT jobs.
1. Set boundaries
These can be either physical or mental boundaries. For example, a physical boundary might be swapping the time you spent commuting into the office, going for a run, or taking your time to have a shower, get dressed, and set up your home office space for the day. Mental boundaries might be making sure you communicate with your team or manager to keep them up to date with any challenges you’re facing.
2. Schedule a routine
Make sure you have your days or weeks planned out; this could start from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Scheduling activities outside your work tasks will help you to have a good work-life balance. Some tasks at work require you to log on early or stay online later than your working hours, therefore scheduling accordingly will help you manage your time better.
3. Time blocking
Time blocking is one of the most popular time management methods for remote workers to increase productivity. It allows you to add structure to your day into manageable tasks without having to do too much pre-planning. To time block, start by writing your responsibilities, this can be done daily or weekly. Then begin the schedule with what might be included in your daily tasks, for example, responding to emails from 9 am-10 am. Then around your regular tasks, you can slot in your additional tasks, for example, any client calls, company meetings, or presentations. Be sure to include lunch breaks and mini breaks, so you are more likely to follow a structure.
There are many different apps and tools you can use to help set this up. Click here to read the best time blocking tools of 2022
4. Set weekly goals
When you create your schedule at the start of the week, make sure you set out some goals and what you want to achieve by the end of the week. That way you have a definitive way of knowing you have been productive.
5. Learn to shut off at the end of the day
When working in the office, you normally have a clear cut-off time, and you may have worked at a computer that would stay in the office and not come home with you. However, at home, you work from your laptop, and it can be harder to log off on time and remove yourself from your work.
6. Make an ideal workspace
Working from home can be distracting, especially if you’re sitting on the sofa near the tv, it can be tempting to put on your favourite TV show. Instead, try to create a clutter-free space in your home that’s void of too much distraction. It’s also important to have a comfortable and ergonomic setup to avoid strain on your body.
7. Try to fit in physical exercise
When working remotely you are confined to your house throughout the day and often during the evening. If you have time during your lunch break, or before or after work, it’s important to get some fresh air and a change of scenery. Going for a walk can not only boost our physical well-being but our mental well-being as well.
8. Communication is key
Working remotely can mean there is a lack of communication between team members and management, which can also lead to decreased productivity and loneliness. Effective communication can help you feel like you play an important part in your company, it can also help with mental well-being by feeling less isolated. Make sure you let your manager know what amount of communication makes you feel comfortable, then hopefully you can schedule regular meetings to catch up.
9. Schedule personal errands throughout the day
When you spend your day working in the office, you might begin to get stressed about personal errands that are building up. One of the benefits of working from home is that you can use your mini breaks to do personal tasks. For example, you could put a wash on and go for a quick stroll. Completing personal errands will help reduce stress.
10. Avoid distractions
When working at home, you can often become distracted throughout the day. Make sure you avoid turning on the TV, so you don’t get distracted from your tasks. You may also want to turn off particular notifications on your phone, so you are not tempted to respond to messages outside of work.
These are just some of the steps you can take to ensure you maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you are able to get the balance right, it can be incredibly rewarding for your physical and mental wellbeing.