The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that a vast majority of us are working from home and with that, I am sure we have all notice that it is becoming increasingly difficult to leave the office at your home. Working from home during a pandemic can feel as though the hours are running into each other and that there is no natural division between work and personal time.
People who are able to integrate their work lives within their personal daily tasks are known as ‘work-life integrators’. However, some people need to feel as though they have left work for the day before they can truly shut off. Those employees are regarded as ‘work-segmentors’. It is essential to understand where you are on the integrator-segmenter spectrum. This is because it is a major step forward to your ultimate quest for work-life balance.
Gaining an understanding of this will help you to set your boundaries accordingly. Find out if you’re a work-life integrator or a work-life segmentor below:
-Transition fluidly from personal life to work and back again.
-They dress as though they are chilling or relaxing at home when they are working from home.
-They like to ‘talk shop’ at the dinner table.
-They do not mind answering messages and emails after hours (within good reason of course).
-These people have well-defined times for when they are working. Once they are finished for the day, they are finished.
-They wear appropriate attire (at least from their waist up) when they are working from their home.
-They generally tend to personal needs such as fitness and running errands outside of their working hours.
-In extreme cases, they do not keep photographs of their friends and family on their desks.
For people who identify with work-segmentation, being able to turn off and disconnect from work at the end of the day is vital for your wellbeing and mental health. Both integrators and people who practice segmentation find curating a ritual to be helpful in achieving work-life balance and recharge. Creating a ritual does not have to be overly complicated. It can actually be something as simple as honouring a personal boundary or turning your laptop off at exactly 5.30 pm.
Identity and Intention Setting
2020 has proven itself as being the year of revealing more of our full selves, even when at work. So, set your intention for the day and try not to switch identities at work and afterwards.
Switch up your Environment
Another way to ensure you leave the office when you work from home is by switching up your environment to show that the day is finished. For example, put on a different playlist for when you are working and for when you are finished. Also, dim the lighting in your home. There are many different things you can do in the office to signify to yourself that the day is complete.
Commit to a dedicated time to turn the laptop off, mute notifications on your phone’s apps that you use for work. In addition, consider whether these apps should be on your phone at all. Make an effort to silence the pressure or need to play into the ‘hustle’ culture, especially given that we are dealing with a pandemic.
Get Your Chores Done
After you have cleared away the dishes and coffee cups on your desk, dedicate yourself to a small chore task. For example, making your bed, feeding your pets, bringing in the post, watering your plants or folding away some of your washing.
Prepare Your Dinner
One of the greatest things about not having to commute is the time you save to cook from scratch. Try to make a routine of meal preparation as part of your self-care routine. Cooking can be a big win for your budget, your body and your work-life balance.
We have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and navigating the world of working from home for a long time. However, that does not mean we all have all nailed the work-life balance. Working from home can be challenging at times, because we are not leaving a physical location to signify that the day is completed. It can be very easy to continue on working and forget to care for ourselves. However, doing this can have a poor impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, it is essential to understand what kind of worker you are and to use the above tips to help you find work-life balance.