Career Advice

Ways To Improve Work-Life Balance During COVID-198 min read

May 14, 2020 7 min read
improve work life balance during covid 19

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Ways To Improve Work-Life Balance During COVID-198 min read

Read­ing Time: 7 min­utes

The unprece¬≠dent¬≠ed times have brought all of us humans to adapt the work from home pol¬≠i¬≠cy. As coro¬≠n¬≠avirus spreads rapid¬≠ly all across the globe, peo¬≠ple are stay¬≠ing inside to assure their safe¬≠ty. This in return has brought the offices at home too. Things changed overnight, there¬≠by also chang¬≠ing the way of life. In fact, most of the peo¬≠ple have nev¬≠er even stayed at home for such long hours. 

Work-life bal­ance has become the most impor­tant facet that peo­ple are unable to obtain these days. Being at home at all hours of the day, and your office being inside the same four walls as your house. These fac­tors have made it near­ly impos­si­ble and dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate work life from per­son­al life. The inabil­i­ty to main­tain a work-life bal­ance has been an issue since many years. But with the ongo­ing pan­dem­ic, the prob­lem has increased further.

And it is impor­tant to find the bal­ance at this hour, giv­en that the sit­u­a­tion is uncer­tain and dif­fi­cult for the whole world. So how can one find a bal­ance between work and the day-to-day rou­tine of life amid the eco­nom­ic unbal­ance and a dan­ger to life pre­vail­ing all around?

How To Maintain A Work-Life Balance

Plan Your Activities For The Day

plan your day

Set a time as to when you would like to do what. Ana­lyz­ing and divid­ing the day into cer­tain activ­i­ties that you want to com­plete with­in the day can be an effec­tive way to main­tain balance.

  • One option could be to set your work¬≠ing hours the same as you would have dur¬≠ing reg¬≠u¬≠lar office days. This will give you a prop¬≠er rou¬≠tine to work with¬≠in the con¬≠fined hours on a reg¬≠u¬≠lar basis.
  • Anoth¬≠er option can be to divide your work¬≠ing hours and per¬≠son¬≠al tasks even¬≠ly through¬≠out the day. 
  • Keep a track of time, not¬≠ing down what work-relat¬≠ed as well as per¬≠son¬≠al activ¬≠i¬≠ties would you want to pro¬≠ceed with for one week. As a result, you will be able to eval¬≠u¬≠ate where you spent extra time and where you need to invest more time. Office¬≠Timer and Tog¬≠gl are some of the soft¬≠wares that you can use to effec¬≠tive¬≠ly man¬≠age your tasks and time.

Set Your Priorities

If you have your pri¬≠or¬≠i¬≠ties set for both work as well as per¬≠son¬≠al life, a lot can be bal¬≠anced and planned accord¬≠ing¬≠ly. A dis¬≠ci¬≠plined set of pri¬≠or¬≠i¬≠ties makes it eas¬≠i¬≠er to have a bal¬≠anced day. The only task is to eval¬≠u¬≠ate what should be your pri¬≠or¬≠i¬≠ty and what not.

  • Ask your¬≠self what is of utmost impor¬≠tance and there¬≠by decide where you lack. 
  • Start work¬≠ing on things where you feel you lack.
  • Give less time to things that you feel like you are over¬≠do¬≠ing so that you can achieve a state of balance.
  • If a pri¬≠or¬≠i¬≠ty task is not yield¬≠ing the desired results, try dif¬≠fer¬≠ent meth¬≠ods of approach¬≠ing it.

Maintain Boundaries

It is very impor¬≠tant to be hon¬≠est to your¬≠self and set real¬≠is¬≠tic lim¬≠its for work as well as per¬≠son¬≠al respon¬≠si¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ties. If you set unachiev¬≠able goals, you will drown deep down in the pend¬≠ing work, with¬≠out even real¬≠iz¬≠ing. This will result in your work fol¬≠low¬≠ing you 24/7. 

  • Final¬≠ize your work lim¬≠its by dis¬≠cussing your tar¬≠gets with your super¬≠vi¬≠sor, col¬≠leagues or team mates. 
  • Set time lim¬≠its and work only in the pre-decid¬≠ed time brack¬≠et, until and unless a work emer¬≠gency calls in.
  • When done with office hours, make it a point to not rush back to revert to your work emails or mes¬≠sages, unless impor¬≠tant¬≠ly needed.

Make Time For Health

The impor¬≠tance of tak¬≠ing care of your health can¬≠not be empha¬≠sized enough. Espe¬≠cial¬≠ly now when we are all sur¬≠round¬≠ed by a dan¬≠ger to our health, it is vital to take care of our¬≠selves. More¬≠over, if you are not in a good state phys¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly, it will affect your work as well as peace of mind and you will not be able to give your best.

  • Main¬≠tain a prop¬≠er sleep sched¬≠ule and fol¬≠low a reg¬≠u¬≠lar sleep pattern.
  • Exer¬≠cise at least 3 times per week. 24HourFitness and Born¬≠Fit¬≠ness are some of the sites where you can find per¬≠son¬≠al train¬≠ers, yoga instruc¬≠tors as well as diet plans to keep your¬≠self fit.
  • If you work out reg¬≠u¬≠lar¬≠ly and sleep well, you will be able to increase your pro¬≠duc¬≠tiv¬≠i¬≠ty lev¬≠els as well. 

You can also read about 11 Healthy After Work Habits To Try Instead Of Sit¬≠ting On The Couch All Night

Have A Designated Workspace

The absence of an office premise can ham¬≠per your abil¬≠i¬≠ty to work whole-heart¬≠ed¬≠ly and in all seri¬≠ous¬≠ness. So it is impor¬≠tant to have a sep¬≠a¬≠rate work¬≠space, away from the com¬≠fort of your couch or bed. 

  • If you have a dis¬≠tinct work¬≠space, it will give you an idea of respon¬≠si¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ty and work seri¬≠ous¬≠ness, ded¬≠i¬≠cat¬≠ing the pre¬≠scribed time to your work alone.
  • Make it a point to sit alone while work¬≠ing, with¬≠out your con¬≠cen¬≠tra¬≠tion being ham¬≠pered by your fam¬≠i¬≠ly mem¬≠bers. Dis¬≠trac¬≠tion is an ene¬≠my of productivity.
  • All fam¬≠i¬≠ly mem¬≠bers must decide amongst them¬≠selves to respect each oth¬≠er‚Äôs time and space while working.
  • Ditch all the dis¬≠trac¬≠tions by build¬≠ing a seclud¬≠ed work¬≠space. You can refer to the video Work¬≠ing from Home: How to Set Up Your Work¬≠space to get an idea about how to cre¬≠ate a work¬≠space of your own. 

Communicate Effectively

communicate effectively

Since more than half of the world is work­ing from home amid Covid-19, com­pa­nies are try­ing hard­er and hard­er to meet ends and make work from home as effec­tive as pos­si­ble. Team mates do not meet every day to dis­cuss the tasks and results. Every­one is depen­dent on tech­nol­o­gy and that is why com­mu­ni­ca­tion can some­times be disturbed.

  • While work¬≠ing from home, com¬≠pa¬≠nies can make use of var¬≠i¬≠ous com¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠ca¬≠tion soft¬≠ware or tools to make sure that the employ¬≠ees of the com¬≠pa¬≠ny can com¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠cate effec¬≠tive¬≠ly. Tag¬≠g¬≠box and Work¬≠place are tools which help in easy com¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠ca¬≠tion for com¬≠pa¬≠nies work¬≠ing remotely. 
  • Video con¬≠fer¬≠ences should also be held time-to-time to main¬≠tain a sense of work¬≠ing along with a team. This way you can also make out how a col¬≠league is cop¬≠ing with the work and if there is any barrier.

Implement The Balance

Week­ends def­i­nite­ly mean that work should not fol­low you for the days you get off. Treat the week­ends dif­fer­ent from how you treat the rest of the days of the week. And when your time is up for the day on week­days, learn to switch off the work on time. When you had a reg­u­lar office, you used to trav­el back home from the office at a fixed time. Make the same habit while work­ing from home as well. If you do not cre­ate the gap between pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al life, both sides of your life will be affected.

  • Decide upon a spe¬≠cif¬≠ic time and get off from the screen by that time. Dis¬≠cuss with your col¬≠leagues and team mates about the time¬≠line and coor¬≠di¬≠nate accordingly.
  • Social¬≠ize on calls or texts after your work is over. These are dif¬≠fi¬≠cult times when peo¬≠ple can¬≠not step out of their house and are stay¬≠ing inside to main¬≠tain safe¬≠ty. So con¬≠nect vir¬≠tu¬≠al¬≠ly with your fam¬≠i¬≠ly and friends.
  • Plan your evenings dis¬≠tinct¬≠ly on some days. Because if you will have some¬≠thing to look for¬≠ward to after work, you will def¬≠i¬≠nite¬≠ly switch off from work on time. 

It was def¬≠i¬≠nite¬≠ly eas¬≠i¬≠er to unplug and end your work¬≠ing day in an office before Covid-19. If noth¬≠ing else, peo¬≠ple would look for¬≠ward to going home. But since almost all employ¬≠ees are work¬≠ing from home, main¬≠tain¬≠ing the cut off seems dif¬≠fi¬≠cult. More¬≠over, there are no plans to be made for an out¬≠ing either. The only safe place is inside the walls of your own house. Employ¬≠ees there¬≠fore find no com¬≠pelling rea¬≠son to shut off their lap¬≠tops and end up work¬≠ing all through the day. 

It has become impor¬≠tant for peo¬≠ple to learn that they are not sup¬≠posed to sway away with work. Oth¬≠er¬≠wise, peo¬≠ple will hurt them¬≠selves indef¬≠i¬≠nite¬≠ly phys¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly as well as men¬≠tal¬≠ly. The pan¬≠dem¬≠ic has tak¬≠en a lot of our brain‚Äôs space already. If you hoard work over it, you may be play¬≠ing with your men¬≠tal peace. 

You can refer to 30 Fun Things to Do at Home to get some cre¬≠ative ideas as well. 

Make Smarter Decisions

It can cer¬≠tain¬≠ly be pos¬≠si¬≠ble that when employ¬≠ees feel over¬≠bur¬≠dened with work, it is because of their own ways of work¬≠ing. With¬≠out a prop¬≠er and effi¬≠cient work plan and strat¬≠e¬≠gy, the pres¬≠sure of com¬≠plet¬≠ing the tasks can be your own cre¬≠ation and not some¬≠thing ini¬≠ti¬≠at¬≠ed by the employer. 

The main aim while work¬≠ing from home should be to work smart¬≠ly and more effi¬≠cient¬≠ly. The key is to not work for longer hours indef¬≠i¬≠nite¬≠ly, but to work smart¬≠ly. If we all adopt the right com¬≠bi¬≠na¬≠tion of time and man¬≠age¬≠ment, there will be a lot less to stress about. A sense of dis¬≠ci¬≠pline and struc¬≠ture can take you a long way.

And if you tread on the path of bal¬≠ance, you will be able to make a pos¬≠i¬≠tive impact in all aspects. Health and qual¬≠i¬≠ty-life ben¬≠e¬≠fits are just a few to name. You only need to take con¬≠trol over your work. When you suc¬≠cess¬≠ful¬≠ly prac¬≠tice a bal¬≠ance rou¬≠tine, you will be able to enhance your orga¬≠ni¬≠za¬≠tion¬≠al per¬≠for¬≠mance as well as productivity. 

More­over, work­ers who are suc­cess­ful in attain­ing a work-life bal­ance work smarter and hard­er than oth­er employ­ees who tend to feel over­worked due to an inabil­i­ty to main­tain the bal­ance. So if you still have not been able to find your work-life bal­ance since this pan­dem­ic start­ed, now is the time to start work­ing on it. Set some bound­aries and stick to them. They will not only ben­e­fit you but also your work productivity.

Sumedha is a Post Graduate in English. She has the penchant for creating a variety of content that is attention grabbing.