Creating an ideal work-life balance has been a struggle since long before a global pandemic shut down offices worldwide and sent employees home to work. Working from home has made it infinitely harder for millions of workers to create boundaries between their personal and professional lives. In fact, it can be hard sometimes to even know if your work is taking too much space in your life because there aren’t even any distinct boundaries to judge by. Here are three ways to know if you need to adjust your work-life balance.
Do you have good boundaries between your work and personal time?
While many people may have brought a certain amount of work home with them before the pandemic, having your work at home can make it difficult to end your work day and switch gears. The more mechanical separation you can create between your work and personal life will help. This can include shutting down entirely and putting away your work computer and phone or shutting and locking your office for the night.
Do you have a solid schedule and stick with it?
Working from home can often mean having more flexible hours, but those flexible hours can quickly add up to more hours than you might have worked in an office. It is important to either set specific hours and stick with them or track your work hours to ensure you aren’t working more hours than you should be.
Does “life” simply mean a different kind of work?
The “life” part of work-life balance is simply a different kind of work for many people. Doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children are all different types of work. For work-life balance to actually happen, you need time when you are not doing any work. That includes the work you get paid for and the unpaid work that is simply a part of life. If you are a parent or caregiver that has heavy responsibilities outside of work, then you may literally be spending all of your time working. It is important to try and carve out time to rest, relax, recreate and not work.