Since March of 2020, roughly half of working Americans began bringing their work home with them — literally. As a result of COVID-19, many offices closed their doors to non-essential employees, leading many to have to work remotely full-time. For many it wasn’t a huge change, but for others, especially parents and those responsible for taking care of family members, it presented a challenge. Working from home became a “new normal” of sorts.
Finding a solid work-life balance when your work and personal life are under the same roof can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some healthy and productive ways you can make the most from your new work-from-home lifestyle:
- Create a home office setup. You don’t have to have a spare room in your home to set up your own personal home office — though it does help in terms of privacy and keeping your workspace entirely separate from the rest of your home. If you don’t have a spare room, you can create a dedicated workspace from a table in your bedroom or living room, or even part of your kitchen table. Treat this space the way you treat your office or desk at work — find a comfortable chair, ensure your WiFi signal is strong, and keep everything you need within reach.
- Stick to a schedule. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re still not working regular hours. Take your lunch break and mini breaks at the same time you do on a normal day, and make sure to clock in and out at the same time every day.
- Coordinate with your family. If you have young children, they may not understand why their parents are at home all day, so make sure you plan for childcare so your work isn’t interrupted. If you’re married or living with your significant other, coordinate your schedule so both of your needs are met. And if you have older children or teenagers, set expectations regarding when you’re available to them.
- Don’t work in your PJs — dress for your job! One of the easiest ways to fall into the dreaded work-from-home complacency is going to work looking like you just rolled out of bed. That keeps you in the “at home” mindset that can cause distractions while you’re working. While you don’t have to put on a tie or high heels to work from your home office, sticking to some semblance of your workplace’s dress code will help you feel more productive.