WFH: The New Balancing Act
COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in how most people thought 2020 was going to go. I felt like the energy was high going into this year, but that all changed when March came. Like most, I have had my fair share of obstacles the past eight months, but it hasn’t all been a wash. The pandemic has put me in situations I’ve never navigated before and has really forced me to refocus, reprioritize, and has allowed me to, without guilt, say no to a lot of commitments.
Morrison transitioned to a work from home model in March and we still have the flexibility to utilize that model if we want. This was my first experience working from home and early on I really loved it. I remember staying in my pajamas the first day! I was on cloud nine. However, I was not prepared to work from home for months and honestly wasn’t sure how to do it well. I had a goal to focus on my health in 2020 and when I transitioned to working from home, my physical, mental, and emotional health started to struggle. I realized I needed to throw my nonchalant approach to working from home out the window. I discovered ways to thrive, but it took time to find what worked.
We have been at this for eight months now, so I assume those that are still working from home have gotten into a groove. If you are still struggling to find your rhythm, a quick google search will provide you with limitless suggestions on how to improve your WFH life.
“The key to work-life balance as a teleworker is being able to set boundaries – both for your work and personal obligations.”
The Mayo Clinic provided some practical tips on how to set these boundaries:
Developing a routine was critical in my success working from home. I implemented new morning routines that prepared me to start work on time and I got a work out or walk in after I turned my computer off for the day.
As I mentioned above, my physical health struggled when I transitioned to working from home. One of the changes I made was meal planning dinners for the week. This helped make sure I was nourishing and energizing my body. I also made it a priority to exercise at least three to five times a week.
This is a tip I wish I had thought of during my time working from home. I was not open with my manager about the struggles I faced and dealt with them independently. I probably could have gleaned some great advice from him!
My husband is working towards his Bachelors and his schedule has also been drastically affected by the pandemic. With a completely virtual class schedule that meant we’d both be home during the day. We designated space where each of us worked from, in different rooms, and communicated about when we could not afford to be distracted. I enjoyed seeing him more throughout the day, but in order to be productive we had to set boundaries.
With access to work emails on my phone it is always difficult to completely shut off, but to really create a separation from work and home life while working from home, this tip is probably one of the most important.
I was able to stick to my 8:00-5:00 work schedule. That schedule worked out great for my husband and me since it’s just us at home!
I know there is a battle to not let work bleed into your personal life when you work from home. Putting in place practical boundaries may be the ticket to maintaining a healthy work/life balance!
Janae Swartz is a consultant with Morrison, working primarily in our People Solutions practice. To get in touch with Janae, please find contact information for Morrison here.