Until recently, only 3.6% of American employees worked from home, and now millions more had to shift to working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, this working model turned out to be overwhelmingly successful as 65% of workers say that their productivity has increased since getting into a home office.

Improved work performance is good, but what about the emotional and mental health of those working remotely? How are things with the wellness of individuals combining their work and home lives more than ever before? Adjusting to the new normal is quite challenging in terms of psychological well-being and mental health, so not everyone can easily maintain a work-life balance while working from home.

Before the pandemic, only people knowing that remote work would fit well into their lives chose to do their job from home. But most individuals compelled to have a home office for the first time due to the coronavirus find it difficult to build their life around remote work. There are many circumstances that make it hard to navigate the new realities of work. For instance, children’s homeschooling, issues with partners working remotely, general uncertainty, or social isolation and loss of everyday routines. Therefore, adaptation difficulties can take a toll on one’s mental health and cause stress or anxiety.

According to a survey of 7,000 workers, 73% of employees (compared to 61% pre-pandemic) feel emotionally burned out because there is no separation between their work and other life spheres. When one works from home, it can be hard to split job duties and personal life. Despite that, everyone needs to take care of themselves and keep a balance. Below you can find some valuable recommendations on how to do it in the best possible way. 

1. Make a Schedule

Sometimes, people who have much flexibility and don’t follow a rigid schedule feel like they need to be available anytime. Naturally, it doesn’t leave time for themselves because they try to be online all the time. This way, flexibility disrupts the work-life balance.

Hence, you should try setting your own schedule and sticking to it. Share it with your team, so they will know exactly when they can and cannot reach you. Also, it will get easier to work a manageable number of hours and plan personal activities during the day.

“As a homeschooler and freelance essay writer I spend a lot of time at home. Creating a schedule allows you to maintain productivity and be mindful of using your personal time to recharge,” adds Veronica Adams of Stressays.com. “This can also relieve stress that comes from working non-stop. Moreover, having a schedule allows you to set boundaries with your coworkers and family more easily.”

2. Separate Your Workspace From Other Home Areas

Working from home is typically much more distracting than from the office. First of all, you’re alone and there is nobody nearby to motivate you to stay busy. Secondly, your home offers many more things to do than the office, so you might get distracted all the time. 

Therefore, in order to have a productive day, you should choose the right workspace at home. Create some neat and clutter-free areas that will be specifically dedicated to working. Choose a spot where you are able to be productive, and make it distinct from other parts of your home.

3. Spend Some Time Outside

Getting some fresh air feels so good in the middle of a workday. Moreover, it can increase work productivity as studies show that breathing fresh air improves decision making, leads to higher test scores, and better information processing. 

Taking a walk outside is a great way to support your wellness with a quick dose of Vitamin D. Even a short visit to the nearest park during your lunch break can make you more energized and ready to tackle all your tasks when you get back to your desk.

4. Request Some Time Off

Surveys show that people tend to work about three hours more per day when staying at home. If you work and live in the same place, it may be hard to truly step away from work even if you’ve closed your laptop. So in case the pandemic wrecked your vacation plans, it’s still vital to take time off to recharge your batteries. To give your brain a rest, you should check out for a day or two so you can get refreshed and ready to take on new work challenges.

5. Take Breaks Throughout the Day

A lot of people tend to move from task to task and lose track of time. They often forget to take breaks when working from home. Going from item to item with no time to chill doesn’t allow your brain to work optimally. Hence, take short breaks to talk with your family or a roommate, or even go for a quick walk. You can also use personal errands to break up your day and spend some time away from your computer. This way, you will get your personal tasks done and become reconnected with the world around you. 

Poor work-life balance has a negative impact on your health and well-being. It can make you feel more stressed and less in control of both your work and personal life. In contrast, a good work-life balance makes you more motivated, productive, and happy. Luckily, remote work gives the autonomy to structure your workday and allows you to get your tasks done efficiently and make time for activities outside of work.

Work-life balance is not that hard to achieve, but it’s all about prioritization. You can organize it by making a plan and scheduling, using time management, applying communication tools, and various productivity techniques. 

Learn to allocate your time so you don’t overwork and can focus on all the aspects of your life like family, friends, hobbies, and social activities. Follow the tips offered in this article and enjoy the perks of a balanced life!