If 2020 has taught us anything, its that humans are capable of handling a high level of diversity. No one wanted a year where we needed to stay inside and distance ourselves from our friends and family. Many people were forced to transition to remote work quickly, and that can lead to increased problems with work-life balance. So how can you be sure to maintain a better work-life balance during this lockdown or any crisis?
Create a Workspace
To whatever extent you can, create a workspace that will allow you to work distraction-free. If you have an extra room that can function as an office, that’s perfect. It gives you the ability to close the door, so you can have privacy. If that’s not an option, choose a corner that is out of the way. The kitchen table is not generally the best place to work, but it can be functional if you need it to be. In any case, make sure you have a comfortable work surface and chair.
A lot of people think that because they work from home, they should work all day. With access to the computer and work email, it’s easy to fall into the trap. And without a commute, you may think you’re doing your employer a favor by working those additional hours. But without professional boundaries, you may find that you burn out faster and don’t have the right work/life balance. Give yourself a schedule and unplug when you aren’t working.
One thing missing from the remote work experience is the bonding over company culture that you would have in an office. But technology has given us the ability to connect with our coworkers in virtual space. Zoom meetings are good for professional check-in, but it’s also okay to bring the water cooler talk online. Many companies have set up Slack channels for liked minded coworkers to chat during the day. As long as it doesn’t negatively affect the work, staying connected is highly encouraged.
Sharing Household Tasks
One of the challenges with the current remote work experience, since most people were thrust into it without any preparation, is that often two adults are home and both are trying to work. But household tasks still need to get done. Cleaning, laundry, cooking, and more will still be there for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a load of laundry during the day, but it does mean you may have to create a new household task list with different responsibilities than before.
Lockdown with Kids at Home
Adding a third challenge to the situation is the fact that many working adults have children at home. During the school year, while classes were at home too, parents were suddenly challenged to act as part-time teachers. And even once school was out, parents found themselves needing to provide further enrichment. There are also challenges with ensuring that children aren’t distracting your daily productivity.
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