Creating and Maintaining Work-Life Boundaries When Working from Home

It’s quite easy for people to be tempted by the idea of working from home. Working from home during the pandemic has been a favour for many professionals, but it’s also had a calamitous effect on work-life boundaries for some of them.

In a survey of Teams users, Microsoft learned that employees are working more after-hours than they did before the pandemic.

Microsoft also reports that 54% of employees feel overworked, 39% feel exhausted, and 20% said their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance.

Working from home is therefore seen as an opportunity to avoid all of these issues and increase productivity at work by up to 700%. But what are people leaving behind?

Work-life boundaries aren’t always clear when you work from home. If you think about it, you’ll spend most of your time working, with the occasional break.

The hours become more blurred than in a typical office environment, and you can easily end up spending longer at home than in the office. This doesn’t just mean that you’ll be spending a lot of time with your family either.

If you work from home and are setting up your own company, then you’re probably using that time to help run the company as well.

The upside is that more people have control over their schedules. You can choose when to work and when not to, which means that you can get more done during peak periods or simply take time out if need be.

But it can also be a double-edged sword. While you might feel free to take time out whenever you want, it can result in the fact that your work never really gets done if you only work during peak times.

To avoid this problem, make sure that you plan out your day well in advance and make time for certain tasks to be completed. In addition, let other people know about your schedule and when you’re working.

This will ensure that they don’t disturb or interrupt you during these times, which can easily happen if they knew nothing about when you’re working on certain projects.

Remember that you’re not chained to your home. You’ll still have to go in sometimes, and this flexibility is well worth the trade-off of having a bit more freedom at home.

It can be hard to make sure that you don’t let work take over your entire life, but it’s important that you do so; otherwise, it could damage the work-life balance in the long term.

If you want to find out more about working from home or want some advice on how best to utilize your newfound extra time when working from home, then contact us today.

Why work-life boundaries are essential for remote employees

We describe different parts of our lives with boundaries. Boundaries allow us to put one identity which gives you a particular role and responsibility and you work more productively by having a clear picture of your role.

With healthy work-life boundaries in place, you can be completely present at work for colleagues, customers, and management, and completely present at home whether alone or with loved ones.

Boundaries help you keep work where work belongs so you can refill your energy for the next day. You don’t let your work problems take a toll on your relationships or interrupt your refreshing time.

Boundaries help prevent the mental and physical tiredness and stress that Microsoft’s survey participants spoke about.

How to establish work-life boundaries

Management must set the expectation that in the organization, work-life boundaries are respected.

1. Set up morning and shutdown rituals

Rituals help us make the change between the different parts of our lives. Managers should explain why morning and shutdown rituals are essential for setting and maintaining work-life boundaries.

For many professionals, their pre-pandemic they prepared for the morning ritual. In the car or on public transport, they are mentally prepared for the day ahead.

Remote employees need the same type of ritualized change between home and work. Create a defined workspace and start time.

The shutdown ritual is even more significant. Your work ethic is only an advantage if you can control it. Identify your tendencies and set up a routine that works for you. You can only relax well if you separate from work and work worries.

2. Enforce meeting and communication protocols

Microsoft’s analysis of Teams data from February 2020 to February 2021 revealed three problem areas: meetings, calls, and chats.

The time team spent in meetings amplified by 148% over the past year and continues to climb.

The normal meeting duration increased from 35 to 45 minutes.

62% of Teams calls and meetings were unscheduled or unplanned.

50% of Teams users responded to chats within five minutes or less.

After-hours chats amplified by 42% per person.

Decide when meetings, calls, emails, and messages are allowed. Consider reserving a few hours a day or several hours a week for focused deep work.

3. Set up a Time Tracking software

To build a work-life balance equip your remote team with time tracking software like Time Champ. A time tracking software will help you to get all the insight of your remote employees.

Employers and employees both get benefited from the Time tracking tool. It will give you a comprehensive approach to measuring time, productivity, and various other metrics.

Time tracking tools make life much easier to analyze and find solutions for the problems quickly.





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