As more people have shifted to the remote work model, one issue has become the number one topic in the business world: losing the line between work and home life.
It’s not surprising though, with most of the remote workers continuing their work at their home, it’s only expected that the line between work and home blurs.
On one hand, there’s your nine to five workflow and your dishes to be washed on the other. Add the people you’re living with, if any, and your personal space becoming your office to the table, you completely lose the barrier between your work life and your home life.
But is it really necessary to draw a clear separation between them? The difference between work and home was mainly based on commuting to a separate location to work; but with that slowly fading away, should we carry on the same mentality in the remote work era?
The answer is a little blurry, just like the line between your work and home life, but it mostly rides on your personal preferences.
If we’re expecting remote work to stay, and considering the positive feedback from remote workers, maybe it’s time to change our perception of the relationship between work and home life as well.
Here in this article, we will talk about five alternative ways to reshape your work and home life balance. And if you’re a hard defender of a clear separation between both of them, you can still make your own rules in the remote work model.
1. Be Realistic
First things first, have you ever had a crystal-clear line between your work life and your home life? Maybe you were one of the lucky few, yet there has never been a perfect separation for most of the people.
So, the first step of reforming your work and home life balance is becoming realistic about it. It’s next to impossible to perfectly differentiate them due to situations such as having friends from work or thinking about possible solutions for a task.
If you can leave the utopia of having the perfect line, you can actually start to see that losing the separation between work and home life is not as scary as you thought.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t draw a line though. It’s just to remind you that it’s only natural for your work and home lives to get tangled up sometimes.
2. Set Your Priorities
It’s your favorite time of the day and you just want to go out and have a small coffee time for yourself, but you can’t leave the house because work awaits? Well, maybe it doesn’t have to be like that.
Yes, working from home gets your personal life mixed up with your job but it doesn’t mean that the work should always prevail. Losing the line between your work and your home doesn’t equal losing your personal boundaries.
Do you want to cook your favorite meal tonight? You want to have a movie night with your friends? Then, just do it. Saving the time for these kinds of activities can help you to engage with your personal life even though you work remotely.
So, set your priorities for your personal life and try to leave them space despite your workload. This way, you’ll realize that it’s nothing scary if you lose the line between your work and home life because you still can set your own rules.
3. Plan a Trip
One of the best aspects of remote working is the opportunity to work from anywhere. Sometimes, staying in the same environment can be the actual cause of burning out. So, making a change every now and then will also help you to feel refreshed in the middle of your workflow.
Plan a trip to a small village, maybe organize a camping trip or book a nice hotel at the seaside. Ask your manager if it’s possible to take things a little slower for a week and have yourself a little fun in a different place.
Don’t get disappointed by the idea of taking work with you because who doesn’t enjoy turning your computer on by the sea, with your favorite drink at hand?
4. Ask for Help to Balance Work-Home Life
Even though you set the barrier perfectly between your work and home life, all the work waiting for you on both sides can be a little overwhelming for you to go on. But don’t forget, you can always ask for help from others.
Your family or friends would be more than happy to help you with your domestic work and they can even help you to re-organize your remote working environment in accordance with your needs. One problem with remote work is the risk of feeling isolated and your people can help you to connect with your social life again.
You can ask for help at work, too. You can ask your manager to ease your workload a little bit, or ask your colleagues to share the labor. It’s also an effective way of communicating with people from your work.
5. Set the Upper Limit
Working from home leaves you with freedom of time management and you can decide at what time of the day to push the gas pedal for your job; but setting an upper limit for the space that your work invades can be a lifesaver.
The upper limit can be the total hours of work you want to spend for or defining an actual time such as 10 p.m. for you to stop working. It completely depends on how you’d like to manage your time and what part of the day you prefer making the most out of. But, you definitely have to set yourself a limit.
By this way, you can create that pristine personal space for yourself and set a de facto line between your work and personal life.
So, as the remote work model keeps changing our lives, we should also revisit our approach to the differences between our work and home lives. The flexibility and comfort that remote work brings are actually the strength of employees to define their ideal lifestyle. So, don’t get scared by the idea of losing the line and concentrate on how you’d prefer spending your day.