As Dolly would say, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”!
Finding the right balance between work and play can be a challenge, maintaining your performance professionally, without compromising on your wellbeing. It can be all too easy for the line between our home and the office to become blurred. Furthermore, following the recent pandemic seeing millions of staff take up home-working, it’s even easier for these two environments to merge detrimentally.
So, here are some top tips for maintaining a healthier home and work-life balance:
Tip 1 – Leave It at the Door
If you have had a bad experience at home, try to avoid letting it hang over you at work. Likewise, a bad day at the office should be left behind you when you walk out the door. Letting unpleasant experiences in either of these settings impact upon the other, not only prolongs your bad mood, but can adversely affect the people around you. Instead, take a breath, regather your thoughts, focus on the present, and don’t allow those negative vibes to ruin your whole day.
Tip 2 - Establish A Routine
Routine is a good way to prepare both the body and mind and can help form a subconscious distinction between business and pleasure. Your weekday morning routine could include:
- An enjoyable cup of coffee and 20 minutes of reading to stimulate the mind
- Meditation or yoga to ground yourself and prepare for the day ahead
- A set breakfast time, or a structured bathroom and dressing routine
- A cycle ride or walk to the office, boosting endorphins and stimulating the body
Meanwhile, an end of day routine can help you to switch off, and focus on yourself, your family, or social activities. Examples may include:
- Showering when you get home from work, to wash away your day and wind down
- Changing out of corporate attire and putting on your favourite lounge wear
- Slipping into a pair of slippers when you walk in from a day at work
- Designating a firm time slot to unload the stresses of your day with loved ones
The most important aspect of routine is sustainability, so make sure you pick tasks or activities that you enjoy and can stick to.
Tip 3 – Work Away from Your Home Whenever Possible
If homeworking has become the norm for you, then It is likely that your private life and professional life have become merged. Even if you have a designated workspace in your house, the everyday distractions of homelife, from kids and pets to TV and food, can impact your performance. Not to mention, with access to your work, the temptation to ‘just reply to that email’ or ‘just finish that spreadsheet’ can be strong. This can result in:
- Frustration for family members having to share you with work
- A reduction in your productivity during your regular working hours
- You working outside of your paid employment eg for free!
- Less time for yourself, your hobbies, or your social life
- Clients or colleagues coming to expect unrealistic outputs
Remedy this by working away from home as often as possible. Shared office spaces can provide cost-effective and flexible solutions for both long and short-term working. So, do yourself a favour and get out there! We have all been stuck at home for far too long as it is.
Tip 4 – Establish Clear Working Hours
In an efficient and well-equipped office environment it can be easy to lose track of time while working, especially if you work for yourself. However, making a habit of staying late at the office leaves very little time for leisure activities. Do it often enough and you may find yourself at the beck and call of customers or colleagues who come to expect you to be contactable. Or worse, you may stop being called upon by friends or family for social events, if your unavailability has become routine. By sticking to your contracted hours, or establishing clear working times for yourself, you can help prevent work from encroaching into other aspects of your life. Sometimes things come up, and we can’t always stick to the ‘9-5’, but we can practice good habits such as:
- Setting automatic email replies out of hours, to set the expectations of third parties
- Switching your work phone to voicemail
- Completely switching off your machine at the end of the day to avoid temptation
- Setting an alarm to remind you to switch off or leave the office
- Following an end of work routine eg wiping down your desk and emptying the bin
Tip 5 – Have A Social Life
We don’t advocate burning the candle at both ends, and sleep, rest, and relaxation are important, especially on a ‘school night’. However, do not let the prospect of a new day at the office stop you from having a social life. Go to that show you have been waiting forever to see; attend your best friend’s mid-week birthday meal; take part in that charity auction you were invited to last minute! Letting work stop you from enjoying other special moments in life can affect your mental wellbeing and impact on relationships. So, if that means having the occasional late night then so be it. After all, if there is one thing the office is never short on, its coffee! Right?
All Work and No Play Makes Everyone Miserable
Allowing work to consume every moment of our waking day is harmful for our body and soul. Working outside of the home environment goes a long way towards re-establishing this balance so why not head to your shared office space for a degree of separation. What is more, forming clear routines and habits can help us prevent our two worlds from colliding. CAN Mezzanine’s fixed office and coworking spaces are well-equipped, provide flexibility, are cost-efficient, and are well stocked with plenty of tea and coffee to fuel your productivity on those days after the night before.