Working from home has received a surge in popularity, primarily in the part of a pandemic forcing everyone to stay at home. Many companies have adopted this strategy to allow business operations to continue without requiring their staff to be on-site. This resulted in net statistics for productivity as many people discover they can work better when they’re at home.
However, the negative result of this is the ever-increasing blurry separation between work and personal life. More and more people are beginning to show signs of being stressed and overworked. Even those who still go to the office report difficulty balancing their work and personal schedule. This can all be attributed to not knowing when to separate the two. Below are some points on why work-life balance is essential and some tips on better managing it.
Why It’s Important
Your mental health is essential
When we allow work to bleed into our personal lives, we’re allowing ourselves to continually feel the pressures of work. This often results in burnout, which drains your energy and could even lead to anxiety issues. When left unchecked, anxiety can exacerbate itself and spiral into something more challenging, so it’s best to always get your rest- everybody needs it.
When you’re stressed, your body and well-being suffer
Your mental condition is closely tied to your overall health. Chronic stress could cause your immune system to weaken. This is why it’s crucial that you make time for your well-being. Exercise, go out for a run, and make sure you are eating right.
You become more productive
Working long hours might look like it’s productive, but when a person is tired, they’re less likely to turn in good quality work. On the other hand, when you’re able to make time for yourself and recharge your energies, you’ll be able to perform better both at work and as a friend and family member.
Get to live life outside of work
Do not turn your career into your life. Remember that your life is your own, and you should be able to enjoy it. Pick up a new hobby or get back on an old one, meet new people, travel, do something interesting with your life. Doing other exciting activities outside of work might even boost your CV, or it can lead to a newfound passion.
How to Separate Your Work and Personal Life
Have a schedule and follow it
If you have set working days and hours, make sure you stick to it. Go home when it’s time to go home, and enjoy your days off. This goes the same for people who have more flexible working hours. Just because you don’t work the nine to five does not mean you’re expected to work 24/7.
Make sure you communicate
Wanting to separate your work does not mean you’d have to distance yourself entirely from your coworkers. Remember that effective communication is critical. Make sure you can respectfully tell your colleagues that you value your time away from work and that you want to respect theirs too.
Communicating through collaborative tools and software will allow you to make sure communication is kept within the context of work. All of your work-related information and communication means will be centered there, reducing the need to have mixed platforms, which can inevitably affect your personal life.
Separate your socials
Don’t make the mistake of allowing work to bleed into your personal life through social media. You might have heard of this advice before, but really, your work friends are not your personal friends. Maintain a professional distance so you won’t get sucked into office drama. If you own a business, consider alternative community platforms so that you won’t have to “friend” your clients on your personal social media accounts. This way, you can connect with your clients on a more personal level without sacrificing your personal life.
Don’t go through your work phone at home
If you can, try to have a separate work phone and personal phone. This way, you’ll be able to have better control over how you interact with people from different parts of your life. Still, if having two phones is too much, do your best to maintain a clear separation between working hours and your time off. This also allows you to be more present as a friend, family member, or colleague.
Work-life balance has always been a meaningful discussion. Now more than ever, especially as technology that allows us to be connected 24/7 exists. Often, we feel like we’re boxed in and can’t escape work because of all the emails, group and chat messages, and other digital things that remind us of work. But we all have to put down the phone, forget about work, and rest.