Last Updated 9 months by Emily Standley-Allard
While you will enjoy more freedom and flexibility working remotely than in a conventional workplace, striking a balance between work and personal life can be a challenge. Often you will struggle to draw a line and separate work-related tasks and your personal life. Here’s 10 tips to improve your work-life balance while working remotely.
Working remotely can sometimes lead to working more hours than someone in a conventional workplace, which in turn affects your “you” time or “family” time. You will also spend less effort caring for yourself or enjoying wonderful times with friends and family.
Today’s focus is on improving your work-life balance while working remotely to remain highly productive without compromising your mental health and wellbeing. Read on!
Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance When Working Remotely
To Improve your work-life balance, you need to adopt a consistent work schedule, set remote work ground rules, and create an enabling environment to boost your productivity without having to stretch yourself beyond the necessary. Below are ten tips you can use to improve your work and life balance.
1: Set up a home office workspace
Setting up a dedicated workspace in your home will give you the feeling and sense of “being at work” while eliminating unnecessary distractions.
If you have ample space, you can use a section of your living room or any other available room as a dedicated remote office – though I do not recommend your bedroom.
Get rid of anything that could be a distraction and make your workspace as welcoming and comfortable as possible. Most remote workers prefer minimalistic workspaces to rid them of any distractions.
2: Establish a morning routine
Having a morning routine is one of my most assets as a remote worker. It blocks out everything else when I wake up – including thinking about work or checking emails. In turn, I get to start my day the best way possible and set myself to achieve my daily goals.
A morning routine could be enjoying a 30-minute morning run, reading a book, journaling, meditating, making a to-do list, preparing a healthy breakfast, etc.
Most of these morning routines, including meditation, journaling, and reading books help boost mental health while working remotely.
Choose something important. Something you enjoy doing and will help you remain focused and productive the rest of the day.
3: Do not check emails in bed
Reading work emails while still in bed is an unwanted distraction. It will set an unproductive tone for the rest of your workday. Sadly, most remote workers and those working from home are guilty of this.
You can check your social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok, but leave work emails for your workspace if you want a better work-life balance.
A great recommendation would be to only log in to work email on a separate phone or your laptop. It’s easier to manage work emails this way rather than having to deal with frequent work-related email notifications during off hours.
4: Have a remote work schedule
Having a remote work schedule with clear work hours helps you stay focused and productive while working remotely. This keeps you focused on completing your tasks knowing that any unaccomplished tasks will have to wait until the next day.
A remote work schedule means you can set aside specific times such as evenings, mornings, or weekends for family time, hobbies, socializing, relaxing, and doing anything else you like.
Stay true to your work schedule to ensure there is a balance between your work life and personal life. If you don’t then you will inevitably find yourself working more than 12 hours a day.
5: Plan interesting post-workday activities
Having an end-of-day routine is as important as a morning routine. It sends healthy signals to your brain and body that the day is done and you can rest ready for a new challenge the next day.
Fun post-workday activities also help improve your work-life balance by ensuring you’re not solely focused on work with no time for play and fun.
You can consider activities such as:
- Taking an evening stroll with your pet
- Taking a yoga, Pilates, or dance class
- Volunteering for a non-profit cause
- Going for a bike ride
- Going to a new cat cafe with your friends
- Spending time at a park or beach
- Reading a bestselling book or magazine
- Watching a TV show, movie, or documentary
- Listening to interesting podcasts
- Going for a swim
- Picking up a new hobby
Try to pick activities that are fun and interesting to cheer you up and keep your mood high after a demanding day.
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Networking and staying social with like-minded people will do wonders for your mental health while keeping your work-life balance in check.
Your network doesn’t have to be purely professional or work-related. It could be a network based on your love for a common thing such as sport, music, art, etc.
You should also socialize with friends and family on a regular basis. Go to the movies, attend a music concert together, or normalize regular facetime and video calls to stay connected.
Ways to network and remain social with other industry professionals include:
- Joining professional Slack groups & communities
- Attending online professional events
- Virtual or remote coworking
- Using Instagram Live to connect with like-minded professionals.
- Following up after webinars or online events
- Attending a virtual job fair
- Joining industry-based social media groups and communities
Keep in mind that the more value-loaded your network is, the more rewarding opportunities will come your way.
7: Schedule weekly time-offs to avoid burnout
Suffering from burnout is often inevitable for anyone working remotely, especially if you do not have or stick to your remote work schedule. You’ll often find yourself working more than nine hours while avoiding social networks or engaging in fun group activities.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid burnout working from home:
- Avoid unmanageable workload
- Set reasonable deadlines for work-related tasks
- Occasionally take a day off for mental health
- Embrace yoga and meditation to free your mind
- Avoid working on weekends unless inevitable
- Build healthy social interactions away from work
- Set a workout routine – helps with physical and emotional health
- Stop reading negative news
- Occasionally go hiking, skating, camping, etc
Burnout can have a huge impact on your mental health. Make concerted efforts to remain physically and mentally fit while you chase your financial goals.
8: Avoid your remote workspace on weekends
To improve your work-life balance, you need to avoid anything work-related during your off days, including weekends.
If your workspace is welcoming and relaxed, and that office chair is so inviting, you can sometimes be tempted to sit and spend some time there.
However, your brain subconsciously relates that space with work. You might be tempted to check work emails or do work-related minor tasks when you shouldn’t.
That’s why ensuring your workspace is a “no-go zone” during your off days or after work is important.
9: Use remote work productivity tools
Remote work productivity tools will not only help you stay productive but also create a balance between your work life and your personal life.
Productivity tools help manage workload, set timelines, communicate with coworkers, and block out distractions.
Understand that it’s easy to be distracted when working remotely. Remaining undistracted and focused means you can hit your targets, achieve your goals, and finish your work early with time to spare.
Use these remote productivity tools if your work involves collaborating with coworkers:
- Voodle – for asynchronous video communication
- Qatalog – for seamless team collaboration
- Twist – for asynchronous text messaging
- MeetinVR – for virtual events and meetings
- Camo-Webcam – for video calls with remote coworkers
10: Adopt a fitness routine
Having a fitness routine plays an integral role in improving work-life balance for anyone working from home or remotely.
Exercise will keep you physically fit while boosting your emotional and mental health. You can schedule gym sessions in the morning or after work depending on your preference and other factors.
If you have a morning routine that involves things like meditating, journaling, or reading books, you can opt for evening gym sessions so as to have a well-balanced day involving mental and physical exercises.
As you strive to improve your work-life balance working remotely, understand that your mindset and wellness is as important as your dreams.
Avoid putting your health at risk at the expense of chasing paper. I believe the tips highlighted above will help you balance your personal life with work life without compromising either your health or productivity.
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