Winding Down When Working From Home
After a long day of work, you finally close your laptop, clean up your desk and commute back home – meaning you take 10 steps into your living room. Sound familiar? The pandemic has caused many to work remotely from home. While you would think WFH would usher in an era of more flexibility, instead finding work-life balance seems harder than ever.
Now that the dining room table is your office desk, it has become exceedingly difficult to unplug from work and find complete solace in your home. We are used to compartmentalizing our time and lifestyle – now that work and life blur into each other, we need to find new ways to recuperate after work. It is vital not only to your overall well-being but your performance at work to find ways to relax and reset when working from home.
While everyone has their own ways of relaxing, here are a few tips to create separation from work and home life to help you relax:
Set Boundaries: When you have blurred boundaries, it makes disconnecting from work and addressing personal needs difficult. Once you’re off the clock, leave work at work. This means establishing a central work location and distancing yourself from it when it is “you” time. For example, if you work in your dining room all day, make sure to spend your evening off in your living room to create a sense of separation. Further, set time limits to stop looking at emails after a certain time and never work in a space that you relax/sleep in, such as your bedroom.
Change your Relationship with Downtime: According to data from NordVPN, which tracks when users connect and disconnect from its service, homebound employees are logging three hours more per day on the job than before lockdowns. Being home 24/7, a question at the end of the day that might cross your mind is – what better to do than catch up on work? Or, I might as well keep working until 6:00, 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. While you may get caught up on work, you’re not designed to go full speed constantly – you will eventually burn out unless you take time for yourself. Look at downtime for your mind the same you would as a rest day for your workouts – you can’t perform your best without rest and recovery.
Get Creative: If you are working from home full-time, you are likely going stir crazy. This becomes even more pertinent now that we are in the cold, dark winter months stuck inside and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) comes into play. While we don’t have control over the situation, we have control of the space we live in and what we do with it. Keep your space clean and organized, make sure that the objects in your space spark joy and designate spaces for relaxation. By investing time in your home environment’s aura, you will feel relaxed, positive and benefit overall.