A great work-life balance leaves employees with enough time to recover from the hard work they’re doing. Beyond that, it ensures that each employee only takes on the right amount of work for them, helping to reduce the likelihood of burnout occurring. Yet, in our era of working remotely, it’s now easier than ever before to get sucked into a constant stream of work.
You’ll have to have a strict set of boundaries and supporting tools to effectively manage work-life balance when working remotely. Above all, clear divisions between your work life and home life will help you to feel more comfortable in your home. Be sure to remember that your work shouldn’t have access to you around the clock.
Without the physical division between an office space and your home, it can be difficult to make this division. But, with the tips and strategies that we outline in this article, you’ll be managing your work-life balance from home in no time.
Let’s dive right in.
Establishing and managing your work-life balance in 2023
There are a number of barriers that stop employees from establishing and managing their work-life balance. Of these, personal perfectionism is the biggest contributor. Understanding that you should do your work during work hours, not take on extra work, and contribute exactly for what you’re being paid for, is the key to working more effectively here.
Understanding what the barriers are to creating a good work-life balance will help you then overcome them.
There are a number of ways of managing your work-life balance in 2023:
- Time Management – Get your work done as quickly as possible, then take that extra time off. Do not ask for more work as a product of your own efficiency.
- Stress Management – Knowing which tasks stress you out most will help you avoid them.
- Asking for Help – Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed.
- Setting Boundaries – Clear boundaries will help you create a distinction between your work life and your home life.
Let’s break a few of these core strategies down further.
How to manage your work-life balance with boundaries
Boundaries are clear divisions that you construct between yourself and your workplace. When it was more common to commute to work, boundaries were more obviously enforced. When you were in the office, you would concentrate on work-related things. When you were at home, you could disconnect. Now that 87% of workers are working remotely in some capacity, it’s much harder to create this barrier.
Setting clear boundaries with your manager, coworkers, and yourself should be the key here. Here’s how you can approach each of those parties:
- Manager – Outline that you’re more than willing to take on work and contribute during working hours. However, once it has hit 5 pm, or whatever time you log off, you won’t be continuing that day. Unless, the company is willing to offer overtime and you’re happy to accept it.
- Coworkers – Perhaps the easiest group to create boundaries with, tell your coworkers that you keep strict office hours. If they message you outside of those office hours, you have every right to ignore them.
- Yourself – Creating work-life boundaries with yourself is the most difficult yet most impactful strategy you can take. Understand what your time is worth and endeavor to disconnect any work devices after working hours. Don’t respond to work messages or, better yet, delete work applications off your personal devices.
Creating an effective work-life balance with boundaries is the most effective step you can take. Although it might seem strange or challenging at first, we recommend that you endeavor to communicate exactly where those boundaries lie. As more of the world is beginning to understand the importance of a good work-life balance, you’ll find managers and coworkers more supportive of your divisions.
If your company isn’t one of the 23% that state they promote a healthy work-life balance, it might be time to look elsewhere.
Utilizing technology to improve your work-life balance
Technology has a number of positive impacts in the workplace. Beyond just helping with organization, management, and communication, technology can also contribute to higher levels of productivity. If you’re able to do more in a shorter amount of time, thanks to technology, you’re able to complete your work earlier and have more time off.
Another effective way to utilize technology to improve your work-life balance is to make use of blocking and restrictive software. You are able to set up restrictions on your mobile device and computer to block certain applications at specific times. For example, you could block all work messages from reaching your notifications between 5 Pm and 9 Am. This would ensure that you’re only seeing messages related to work while in working hours.
If you’re not confident about this separation, you could take this one step further. By using applications that completely block certain applications, you simply won’t be able to get onto your work accounts. This is an effective strategy as it neutralizes your part in the equation. Instead of having the choice of logging on, your devices will block you, forcing you to take time off.
Technology can be an effective strategy to improve your work-life balance, especially if you’re nervous about setting boundaries or struggling to do so.
Working remotely doesn’t – and shouldn’t – mean that you’re on-call 24/7. While you’re off working hours, your business should respect your space. Even if they don’t, there are a number of methods, tech tools, and strategies you can use to make sure their messages don’t end up reaching you.
Prioritizing your own time off when not working will help you create better boundaries and manage your work-life balance when working remotely. Just because your company could reach you, doesn’t mean you should let them. Always put yourself, your mental health, and your well-being above the needs of your company.
A strong work-life balance will ensure you have enough time to rest and don’t get burnt out by overworking.