A year ago, a day working from home would be the highlight of the week - we planned it as often as possible and it was a contributor in keeping a balance between work and private life. Now, for most of us, there is no alternative but to work from home, apart from the occasional meeting in the office. And because of the pandemic, other aspects have changed at the same time: the kids are also at home and need to be kept busy, the partner is forced to work remotely, even if space is limited and wouldn't normally allow 2 people to work in home office. On the positive side, many of us saw our productivity increase, enjoy extra time with family, and no longer have to commute constantly.
In any case, we all had to figure out how to adapt to the changing work reality, and it is still difficult to draw clear boundaries between work and private life. However, this kind of balance is of utmost importance, not only for our own health, but also for our performance and our interpersonal relationships.
And since the Peppermint Team has been working remotely since forever, we sat down and brainstormed a few ideas on how we maintain a good work-life-balance when working from home ourselves! Here you go:
1. Routine, pretty please!
Creating and maintaining a regular schedule can help you nurture productivity and even reduce stress. Instead of logging in and starting to work right away in your pjs, adopt a morning routine: Breakfast, a short yoga class, then dress (almost) as if you were actually going to the office. It will work as a small achievement for your mind and body, before you jumpstart your working day.
2. Plan it - then shut it down
Define concrete working hours and, if possible, really sign off on time so that you can concentrate on other things. Similar to a morning routine, you should try to create a routine that you perform after logging off from work. This could be something as simple as cleaning up your desk, which can give you a sense of detachment: sorting your loose documents in your paper tray, your laptop in your desk drawer, setting work “out of sight”. Clear boundaries will help you to actually relax and start the following day with more enthusiasm.
3. Home office, but where exactly is that?
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you work from home is to define an area that you use exclusively as your workplace. If possible,it should be spacious, with a large desk for all the necessary office accessories and work documents. If you have a separate room as your working space, we are jealous! At the end of the day, you can literally shut the door and consider the office closed for the day.
4. Stay in touch
Schedule a certain amount of time each day to simply chat with your colleagues, as you would do over lunch on a normal office day. Working from home can be lonely, we often lose the feeling of being part of a team. Consciously seeking contact can help you relax and build on your relationship with your coworkers - which will certainly have an impact on your work together as well!
5. “Breaks are good. Have one!”
Since the start of the pandemic, many of us tend to do more overtime when working from home. Maybe because we see no end in sight? Or because taking time off usually means travelling, which is now very restricted? It is a challenging situation, but at the same time it is even more important to take a break, when possible. Remote work definitely has advantages, but that doesn't mean that you don't need a day or two off anyway. Even if going on a big trip is not possible yet, you do need to unwind and then take on the challenges of work again with a clear mind and even more creativity.
We would love to hear from you: how do you strive for a better work-life-balance while working from home?🤓