A Remote Worker’s Guide to Balancing Home and Work
Balancing your home and career can be a challenge for any employee, especially when you live and work in the same space. How do you allocate your time between personal and professional responsibilities? How can you focus on conference calls when you’re surrounded by dirty laundry?
Learn how to set priorities and reduce distractions whether you’re new to remote working or you moved out of your cubicle years ago.
Design an office. Designate a separate space for business. Having a designated room in the house can allow you to get more organized and have work supplies and equipment handy. It could be a whole room or a corner in your dining room. Decorate your space with pictures, art, and objects that you find inspirational and uplifting.
Change clothes. You may not want to wear a suit and tie but changing out of your pajamas will help you to feel more professional. Take a shower and prepare for work as if you are going to the office. Clean, good-smelling and neat clothes will get you into the work mode better. Hang up your bathrobe and get dressed each morning.
Limit distractions. Do you waste time watching TV or checking social media? Ban leisure activities during business hours except during break times. It cannot be avoided when you have an infant or toddler at home. Effective time management can go a long way. If you have a deadline, get a sitter or request help on a specific day. Sometimes, you just need a clear head to focus on your work.
Take breaks. Speaking of breaks, take them. You’ll be more productive if you refresh your mind and body periodically. Stand up, stretch, breathe fresh air outdoors. Even for a few minutes, sitting on your patio facing the garden, the water if you are blessed to live by it, refreshes the brain. Breathe in the fresh air. Sit in a rocking chair or go in the porch swing.
Wind down.Do something at the end of each day to help you transition into an off-duty mindset. You might listen to classical music or take a walk in the park. Most people do their runs and workout after a day’s work.
Get organized. Create routines and systems that encourage efficiency. Buy a cabinet for your office supplies. Use an online calendar to block out your time.
Continue learning. Career development matters whether you work at your dining room table or in a corner office. Take a course online or order a catalog for the adult education program at a local university. Read industry publications and general business news.
Go out for lunch. Your midday meal is a daily opportunity to stay connected while you work at home. Plan a weekly date at a local cafe to catch up with your office friends or other employees who work from home.
Remain visible. Make business lunches and other events part of your strategy for cultivating your network. Show up at the office on a regular basis for staff meetings, birthday parties, and other gatherings. Volunteer at the local chapter of your professional association.
Pull together. A strong support network helps you to build your confidence and accomplish more. Ask your family and friends for the emotional and practical assistance you need. Let them know how much you appreciate them and pitch in when they need a hand too.
You don’t have to give up life balance when you give up your commute. Enjoy more health and happiness by drawing sensible boundaries between your personal and professional activities.
Working at a desk may look safe, but it can take a toll on your physical and mental health. While the occupational hazards in an office are different from those at a construction site or hospital, it’s still wise to take some precautions.
A growing number of studies have raised concerns about the effects of sitting for long periods, which can include increased risk of heart conditions, diabetes, certain cancers, and weight gain. That’s especially troubling considering that the average American spends more than 10 hours a day sitting.
Add job-related stress to the mixture and you can see how the consequences can start to add up.
Learn what steps you can take to counteract the downside of your desk job. Start with these ideas for protecting your health and wellbeing.
Tips for Protecting Your Physical Health:
1.Adjust your posture. Slouching can cut off your circulation and make your lower backache. Try drawing your shoulder blades down and back to open up your chest. A lumbar support pillow may help too.
2.Take frequent breaks. Studies show that moving around about every half hour reduces the negative effects of sitting. In fact, it may be even more effective than regular exercise. Make it a habit to stretch or walk around your office for a few minutes.
Just a few quick stretches you can do to give your backrest, get back circulation to the spine and legs. Sitting for long periods can cause blood clots, leg pain, and muscle stiffness.
STANDING WALL STRETCHES
Stand facing wall. Slide both hands up to the wall as shown, feel your back stretch, imagine like you are lifting your body off your hips. Hold this for 5 – 10 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times as necessary and as tolerated. This gives you a nice stretch and elongation to the torso, relieves compression on your spine especially the discs.
To stretch the sides, slide both hands up about 45 degrees to the left side. Hold for about 5-10 seconds, repeat the movement to the right side. Perform this stretch alternating between the right and the left directions to balance the spine.
Even just a few of these simple stretches can make a difference on your back. I recommend doing these stretches at least every 2- 3 hours/ This is especially if you tend to work 4 hours or more seated.
3.Align your wrists. Typing with a bent wrist could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Rest them occasionally and ensure your workstation is set up ergonomically.
4.Rest your eyes. If your eyes are dry, and your vision is blurred, you may be staring at the computer screen too long. Look away occasionally and do eye exercises like blinking or staring at something in the distance.
5.Stay hydrated.Drinking plenty of water helps to maintain your body temperature, metabolism, and heart health. Aim for 8 glasses a day.
6.Bring snacks. It’s easier to resist the vending machines when you have a supply of wholesome foods. Good choices include nuts, baby carrots, and hummus.
7.Pack your lunch. Save money and calories by bringing your lunch to work. You can prepare it the night ahead if you tend to run out of time in the morning.
Tips for Protecting Your Mental Health:
8.Make friends. Work buddies increase job satisfaction. Get to know your coworkers and look for common interests. Share stories about your personal life and encourage them to do the same.
9.Connect in person. Face-to-face contact also contributes to stronger relationships. Try dropping by someone’s office instead of sending an email.
10.Wake up early. Do you barely see the sun because you’re inside all day? Rising an hour earlier could enhance your mood and give you more time to work out and eat a hearty breakfast.
11.Use your vacation days. Letting your vacation days go to waste undermines your health and productivity, so time off is beneficial for you and your employer. Even just planning a vacation can lift your spirits, so make a list of your favorite destinations and start researching them.
12.Decorate your space. A cluttered desk can be a source of stress. Find an organizing system that works for you, and put files you rarely use out of sight. While you’re at it, add in a few personal touches and a pretty plant.
13.Focus on helping others. Any job is more meaningful and gratifying if you keep the purpose in mind. When you’re having a rough day, think about the people who benefit from your efforts.