They say that the workplace of the future is the World Wide Web and that people will slowly transition to the work-from-home setup. We’ll, we’re gradually getting there as more and more people now study or work from home. This isn’t at all surprising considering all its advantages: no commute, comfort of working in your PJs, the kitchen and laundry room just a few steps away, and the convenience of being able to take care of your family while working. It all seems a great journey until you mix up work and family and end up with more pending tasks than accomplishments.
When we study or work from home, it’s easy to get lost in the comfort and convenience that often leads to complacency. It’s important to know how to juggle work and family life. Read on for some do’s and don’ts.
1. Create a schedule and stick to it
It’s very basic, but it’s always neglected. Surely, we know how to make a schedule and we’ve been on this road before. However, what we miss doing is sticking to our schedule. Here’s a tip—set your ‘office hours’. Work from home is still work, so you need to set when you start and end work for the day. Plan ahead what you need to accomplish. But do remember that you can still be flexible with your schedule without compromising productivity.
2. Create a workspace
We cannot emphasize this enough, but creating a workspace at home helps you focus on your work more. It doesn’t have to be an entire room, though that would be most ideal. If there’s no spare room in the house, choose a small corner and arrange it to give you the feel of having an office. Place everything you need for work here—papers, pens, laptop computer, printer, and other equipment. Of course, there’s no limit to how you want to decorate it. Give it a touch of your personality if you want.
3. Dress appropriately
By this, we don’t mean wearing the jacket you regularly wear to work. Wearing your PJs may be comfortable, but what you wear actually impacts your performance and productivity. When you wear something you’d wear outside, it puts your body and mood to work mode.
4. Exercise and eat healthy
Work from home can sometimes make us skip meals and exercise, which is an unhealthy habit. Food, as we know, helps us keep our focus and maintain productivity. But we also have to balance it with regular exercise to keep our blood circulation going, especially since we’re sitting down most of the time. There are simple exercises you can do while working that can help you stay fit.
5. Talk to someone
Don’t limit your world to just work and family. Maintain close friendships with whom you can vent or forget about work and family life for a few hours. You don’t have to belong to a social circle if you don’t want to, but it helps to have two or three friends in your circle. Quality over quantity of friends is more important.
1. Don’t neglect yourself
If you study or work from home and take care of your family’s needs at the same time, you tend to neglect yourself and your own needs. Don’t let that happen. Your health and well-being are as important as anyone else’s. Take a break a when you need it—go to the salon on your rest days, enjoy a picnic with the family, play with the kids in between tasks, and pamper yourself once in a while. Remember, your family needs you, and you can only give what you have.
2. Don’t bring along your work issues when spending time with the family
Surely, we all need sympathetic ears. But you’ll only ruin the happy mood when you keep babbling about how you dislike your new boss or how HR denied your leave request. You’re out to enjoy with the family and to show the kids that they have your time—today, now. So, set your work issues aside and just live in the moment.
3. Don’t overwork or under-work
When working from home, two things can possibly happen—either you overwork or under-work and neither one is good. Overworking can lead to burnout and stress, while under-working is equivalent to dishonesty. Simply make sure that everything that needs to get done is done, and that you don’t do your work half-heartedly.
4. Don’t use personal technology accounts for work
Work from home entails using various software and applications for communication and collaboration. Should you use Teams, email, Trello, Viber, or Whatsapp, make sure that you create a new account instead of using your personal accounts. That way, you can set your availability to respond to messages and leave those accounts on mute while you’re on your break.
There are so many ways to juggle work from home and family life. In fact, there is no strict set of ways to do it since each one has his own coping mechanism. What’s important is how you handle yourself while playing your different roles in life.
Read how else you can separate work or business from your personal life here.