Health Advocate Blog

Keep a healthy balance while working at home

As the pandemic continues and restrictions vary, your workplace may allow you to work at home either on an ongoing or periodic basis. Working remotely can bring definite perks as well drawbacks, including isolation, lack of an established clock in/clock out time, and a multitude of distractions that can contribute to burnout. These tips can help you stay disciplined, motivated and producing at your peak:

Create a designated home office space. Even if your space is a converted closet, set it up to block out nearby household activities as much as possible. Keep only work-related objects in this space and your cell phone out of sight when not making or receiving work-related calls.

Establish a clear home time and work time. During “work time,” avoid personal and household tasks. During “home time,” avoid answering work calls, emails or texts (unless truly necessary). Let your family, housemates and friends know that when you’re working at home, you’re working, as well as how and when it’s okay to interrupt.

Allocate a set schedule for family obligations. For example, if you’re helping a child with homework or lessons, designate specific times throughout the day to assist them.

Post your family’s schedule in one place to help keep everyone on track. This helps avoid you being the family command center and taskmaster.

Avoid multitasking. You’ll actually be less productive if you multitask! Folding clothes while on a business call, for instance, could make you miss something critical if you’re not giving the call your full attention.

Build in breaks and an official lunchtime. Take a short walk, play with your child or pet, water your plants, stretch, chat online with your coworker, or fix a healthy lunch.

Throughout the day, do a full spinal stretch. Reach your arms above you and arch backwards. Movement can relax tissues, lubricate joints, prevent stiffness, and reduce fatigue.

Take real time off from work. Even a half day spent doing something restorative can help you reset.

Create a non-work schedule of activities. While making sure to follow safety guidelines, plan a lunch with a friend, buy concert tickets or go to the gym. These activities help you unplug from your “business” side and have fun, promoting better balance.

Struggling to find balance? Reach out to your healthcare practitioner or a licensed counselor for support and coping strategies.