Remote work is here to stay. One study conducted during the pandemic found that about seven out of 10 workers (71%) wanted a hybrid work schedule even after COVID had completely passed. The work-at-home option (at least some of the time) has become the preferred selection for a large portion of the workforce.
However, this type of schedule comes with costs. Remote work has been associated with mental health challenges, loneliness and a deterioration in work-life balance.
Even with these potential drawbacks, it’s possible to maximize your work-at-home potential. You just need to learn how to maintain your equilibrium in a new situation.
With that in mind, here are some work-life balance tips for remote and hybrid positions:
Keep Home and Work Separate
Remote jobs have a definite commute advantage. Walk from your bed to the kitchen table and you’re at the office. However, this comes with a danger. When your home becomes your workspace, do you ever really clock out?
Work-at-home situations can create a murky divide between your worlds. To maintain a healthy home existence, find ways to keep them separate. Devise boundaries so you can enjoy your personal life, even though it occupies the same literal space as your office life.
Make a Schedule
Because it’s easy to blur the lines between work and home, a remote position requires some discipline. You need to stay focused on your work during office hours. However, you don’t want to get lost in your professional tasks, letting them spill over into what should be time for your friends and family. Doing this risks burnout and could potentially undermine your personal life.
As such, create a formal process to make sure you have enough bandwidth for everything. In other words, set a schedule for remote operations. This includes the following:
- Take Breaks
- Eat Lunch
- Have a Standard Quitting Time
Take Advantage of Company Resources
Operating in a remote schedule can make you feel like you’re on an island. As a result, you feel separate from the broader organization. Do what you can to bridge that distance, seeking out the resources your company provides.
Your employer likely offers services to facilitate your success in a remote setting. Talk to HR and IT to see what resources are available. These can take multiple forms, such as added training or reimbursement for internet costs. By inquiring about these support offerings, you could ease your at-home burden.
Talk to Your Coworkers
In an office setting, you have plenty of opportunities for casual conversations with your coworkers. This becomes more complicated in a remote scenario. You have to become more intentional about your interactions, seeking out opportunities to talk with your team members.
Take whatever chances you can. Forging bonds with your colleagues will help fight the loneliness that comes with a remote schedule. At the same time, you’ll improve your working relationships and develop networking contacts that can become important as your career proceeds.
Use Your Support System
Your coworkers provide an excellent source of social contact. However, you can find other outlets as well. Turn to your personal support system to deal with any stress that arises from your remote schedule. This will help protect your mental health as you succeed in your work.
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