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4 Ways To Manage Work-Life Balance In Remote Working

According to recent research, one in every three Indian professionals is experiencing burn out due to increased work load and stress in the WFH setting.

Remote working has emerged as a preferred way of working for professionals all around the world. A report by Buffer reveals that a whopping 97% of people would choose to work remotely for the rest of their careers. And why not? Some of the benefits of working remotely, as per the same report, include a flexible schedule, freedom to work from anywhere, not having to travel to work and back home, and the ability to spend some quality time with family, among others.

However, choosing to work remotely can come at a price, especially when it comes to drawing a clear distinction between personal and professional spheres. While in an office setting, the separation is geographically defined by default, work-from-home professionals are more likely to suffer from the stress that comes with a poor work-life balance. According to recent research, one in every three Indian professionals is experiencing burn out due to increased work load and stress in the WFH setting. This can be attributed to unhealthy work-life balance practices.

Against this backdrop, here are four ways to ensure a healthy balance between personal and professional duties:

1. Set a proper work schedule

While the flexibility enabled by remote work can be a boon, it can also cause problems for those who aren’t disciplined about it. The ‘always on’ work habit and immediate responsiveness can cause remote workers to feel overloaded while losing track of time. It’s important for remote workers to set realistic expectations and learn how to work flexibly without losing sight of deadlines. Setting up a proper work schedule with dedicated personal time can help in maintaining a healthy balance between work and domestic lives.

2. Set up a home office

One of the challenges faced by remote workers, especially those living with family, is dealing with distractions at home. To ensure maximum productivity, remote workers can set up their own office space at home in a separate room. This physical demarcation also works at a psychological level, encouraging you to enter the mental zone that is conducive to work every time you sit in your designated space. You can also look to use separate devices for work and personal work for reducing the scope of distraction while reinforcing the work-life boundary.

3. Practice self-care

Increased exposure to digital devices has given rise to a phenomenon called Zoom fatigue. The constant barrage of incoming notifications from smartphones, tablets and laptops, and ever-increasing screen time can take a toll on our mental health. In order to counter the negative effects of digital overload, exercising self-care by taking out some time for oneself has become a non-negotiable priority. Exercising, spending time with family, or taking out “me-time” for engaging in hobbies can serve to not just relieve stress but also recharge you for the hours of work ahead.

4. Increase communication with your employer and household

Setting clear boundaries is critical for remote workers. Overworking is usually the result of a lack of clear communication between remote workers and their employers. In such cases, it’s important to communicate effectively with your employer about your availability, especially if you are required to be reachable during specific times of the day. Besides communicating your work schedule, you also need to be upfront about the workload you can manage at a point in time to avoid overcommitting, underdelivering, and suffering stress in the process.

Likewise, it is crucial to let your family members know about your work schedule so that they do not drag you back into the personal sphere, unless required. Since WFH also requires you to divide the domestic responsibilities with your partner, transparent communication becomes more important, so that both parties are aware of who will do what and when. For half of India’s workforce (52%), work-life balance is just as important as their salary – and for good reason. Without it, all the benefits of remote working will be eclipsed by the stress, tension, and anxiety associated to the lack of balance between work and personal life. Conversely, setting healthy boundaries can help you not only to cut stress but also to enjoy a satisfying remote work life.

Source: Business World

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