Once upon a time, balancing work and home life was a relatively easy affair. Of course, some of us mastered it better than others, but in general terms, as soon as we left the office our ‘home mode’ was switched on.
Suffice to say, the world has changed significantly over the past twelve months. We’re now fully immersed in the work-from-home era, and it appears as though the once-traditional office environment has turned a monumental corner. Sure, some companies have no intention of offering remote possibilities in the long term, but many are considering hybrid approaches, while a select few have decided that office environments are a thing of the past.
As such, achieving a work and business balance is going to be a challenge over the next few years. We are now going to look at several steps you can take to make sure you don’t cross boundaries and keep the two topics firmly apart.
Create a dedicated working area
If there was one piece of advice that we would almost demand that you follow through today, it would be about creating your own, dedicated working area. Being sat on the end of the dining table is not sustainable. Sure, it might work for the odd day at home, but it is by no means sufficient for the long-term.
Instead, try and create a space for a dedicated workstation. This might mean looking towards a personal storage solution so you can physically make the space, but make sure all options are on the table. You need your own quiet workspace to make the best of your new situation.
Make sure everyone involved is aware of your schedule
Something else to be aware of is the people around you, many people are under the impression that working from home doesn’t mimic a working day. As it turns out, it certainly does. Therefore, make sure everyone understands your schedule and understands you cannot take part in chores halfway through the working day. The same rules apply with meetings; we’ve all seen the Zoom horror interruptions over the past year!
Assess if your new look arrangement is working for you
As we alluded to at the start of this article, many people’s working lives have been turned upside-down over the past year. Many people now have opportunities that they never dreamed of; the thought of working from home just wasn’t a possibility a couple of years ago. As such, now is the time to question if your current arrangement is working for you. If you’ve sampled working from home and loved it, now might be the time to push for a more permanent solution. Or, you might be in the opposite boat, where office life is ‘your thing’ and you don’t ever want to work from home again.
Companies are now more open to both arrangements and in the interests of achieving that elusive work-life balance, now might be the time to open a discussion to find a long-term arrangement that works fully for you. If this isn’t a possibility, it might even be worth exploring the jobs market to find companies that are aligned to your work-life aspirations.
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