Working remote definitely has both pros and cons, but one of the biggest cons is that the lines between your work life and personal start to blur.
With an estimated 8 million Americans working from home before COVID and a projected 30% of the American workforce staying home by the end of 2021, setting clear boundaries is more important than ever.
Why are Boundaries so Important When Working from Home?
Successful and efficient remote work comes from setting boundaries for yourself, your employers, and those in your household. Imagine being in the office and your kids or significant other having full access to you all day. Or being at work and not taking a lunch break or staying late every day.
You probably wouldn’t be okay with that, right? Creating boundaries is essential to a healthy work-life balance and should be maintained when working from home.
How Do You Set Boundaries? Three ways:
1. Stick to your work routine
Having a solid routine will help you maintain clear lines between work and personal time. Set your hours and stick to them. Even faking a commute could be helpful. Be sure to take your lunch break and finish around the same time every day.
Make it a habit to not answer emails or work-related messages after a certain time. Basically, if you wouldn’t constantly work additional hours or late in the office, why would you now?
2. Practice saying no
Practicing saying no to your family and friends during work hours. Just because your schedule may be more flexible now, doesn’t mean that you are able to do anything during the day.
This also applies to teammates and your supervisor. If you are done for the day, it’s okay to let it wait until tomorrow. Your energy and mental health are important, so try not to exhaust yourself!
Communicate and over-communicate with your team and with your household! Be sure they know when you are at work, whether this a visual cue for your children, or a status you can set for your team via Slack, Microsoft teams, etc.
Being clear with everyone will benefit your stress levels and help you keep work and home life separate.
How to Find Balance
A perfect work-life balance while remote likely does not exist, so take a deep breath and try your best! Simple changes can make all the difference in your mental health and productivity.
Most importantly, protect your peace and energy before all else, and set those boundaries girl!