The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of the population to work from home. Although remote working existed years ago, this practice has become 50% more prevalent, even in industries that don’t implement work-from-home setups. With this new arrangement, companies have also explored flexible working hours, centralized working environments, and reliance on digital tools and software.
As individuals are confined within the four walls and corners of their homes, another culture that has been normalized is the hustle culture—where people are constantly striving from nine to five to make it seem like they’re achieving their career goals without needing breaks. Hustling sure does help you bring more money home, but it’s not the most sustainable path to success and could only lead to burnout.
The Importance Of Work-Life Balance In The New Normal
Achieving the balance between work and personal life is the perfect recipe for avoiding burnout. If your job is focused on a computer, it can be challenging to step away for a while. You won’t even notice that you’re sitting in front of your laptop for eight hours. Regardless of what you do, emphasizing your health and wellness should be a top priority during the new normal.
Thanks to lower disease transmission rates, mobility restrictions have loosened up recently. Since 84% of employees prefer hybrid work, companies started implementing the said arrangement to give their employees more freedom to work. This setup is the perfect opportunity to define work-life balance with the help of these key elements:
1. Time Management
Time is a finite resource. With your 24 hours in a day, you’re only left with about two-thirds of this time after waking up, so it’s essential to manage your time correctly to achieve your commitments and responsibilities for endeavors applicable to your situation: work, school, household chores, quality time with family, personal time, and more. Good time management skills are crucial to achieving work-life balance as this will determine how you’ll achieve it.
Drawing the line between work and personal life is the first step to proper time management. Since people are more likely to work day and night, your employers or clients may contact you after the usual work hours, but it’s your decision if you want to attend to their concerns or not. The best and right thing to do is to define these workday limits to these people upfront.
Moreover, setting small, achievable goals daily can help you tick off tasks. By writing them out, you can focus on each task one at a time. These objectives can include work-related responsibilities and simple, recurrent tasks that you may forget, such as putting out the trash or sending an email to someone.
2. Dedicated Workspace
When working in an office, people are often assigned to a room, cubicle, or any designated space where they work. Because of the new normal, the situation is far from what you’re accustomed to. During the first few months of working from home, you might work in different areas of the house, such as your bed, the kitchen, and the couch.
However, you’ll eventually find yourself in an uncomfortable position that’s not the most conducive to productivity. While you may ignore them explicitly, your brain develops cognitive biases around spaces you’re immersed in every day. Different areas of your home are defined by how they’re set up. Therefore, having a dedicated workspace will promote focus, motivation, and responsibility because all items surrounding this space are connected to your work.
When designing your work-from-home space, take note of the following tips:
- Find the right location, preferably somewhere far from your living space with natural light.
- Focus on office ergonomics to avoid any body ache or pain.
- Keep items that you only need, such as your laptop or desktop computer, computer peripherals, a notebook, and the like.
- Make sure you have easy access to power.
- Have a dedicated Wi-Fi installed if you don’t have one yet.
- Consider personalizing your space however you want.
3. Good Health And Wellness
COVID-19 disease is the root cause of this current work setup. Achieving work-life balance and having good health are two related entities that directly impact each other. By taking care of your health, you can accomplish more things at work, thus helping you get that balance. Since you enjoy a work-life balance, you can do more things for your health, whether it be preparing healthier meals, exercising more, or connecting with your friends.
For every opportunity you get while working from home, always put your health and wellness first. If you have a morning meeting, sleep early to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep. Are you tired of sitting down all day? Incorporate quick stretches and walks into your routine. Remember that taking care of yourself can do so much for your physical, emotional, and mental health in the long run.
Living a life during the new normal is no easy feat. Recognizing and understanding the difficulties of this situation is an essential aspect of achieving a balanced life. By taking care of yourself, creating a specific workspace, and managing your time more efficiently, you can achieve the work-life balance that many people are finding hard to experience amidst this world’s unfamiliar changes.
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