Many of us have loved the freedom and flexibility we get to enjoy when we’re working from home. By removing the daily commutes, we’ve found more time to spend doing the things that we enjoy with the people that we love. However, this doesn’t always work in practice. When your office is also your home, it’s easy to get the lines blurred, and this can lead to difficulties switching off after work because your environment hasn’t changed. So, we’re sharing our top three tips to help you switch off after work and enjoy your free time.
Tip #1 – Head outside
When you’re cooped up at home all day, you’re missing out on the abundance of benefits available to you just by taking a step outside of your front door. Tell yourself that at 5pm, you’re going to pull on your walking socks and comfy trainers, and head outside to soak up some wonderful Vitamin D and get your body moving.
Sometimes, you just need to take the first step and make the effort after work despite how tired and exhausted you are. Once you move away from your current environment, you’re less inclined to return to work mode throughout the rest of the evening. Plus, being outside improves your overall health, including improved bone strength and immune system, and is proven to boost your mood.
Tip #2 – Make social plans
If you have dinner plans at 5:30, you’re not going to be sucked into the world of unpaid overtime. Creating social plans in the evening will give you something to look forward to during your work day, keeping you motivated and positive throughout the day, whilst also providing you with a definitive cut off point for your work tasks.
When you don’t have a barrier in the evenings, like a commute or social arrangement, it can be easy to lose track of time and work well into the evenings without even realising it. Before you know it, the clock will strike 8pm and your brain is still whirring away in work mode without any rest bite or opportunity to relax before the next work day when you have to do it all again.
Creating social plans in the evening helps your brain to unwind, and protects your mental health whilst working at home too. Whether it’s a cinema trip, a dinner date, or a chilled Zoom quiz, arranging some social interaction will allow you a chance to offload any work stress and then move on with a fun evening that provides your brain with the opportunity to relax and recharge.
Tip #3 – Don’t link work to your phone
There’s nothing worse than settling down for a relaxing evening and noticing a work email or notification ping on your phone. It’s one of the best ways to kill your relaxation vibes. You can tell yourself you’ll ignore it, but knowing that notification is waiting there for you will prevent your brain from truly switching off all evening.
To combat this, avoid mixing any of the apps you have for personal use with work related logins. Don’t link your work emails directly to your personal email app – you can always login via the internet browse if you choose to, but that way you’re not bombarded with notifications.
If you have a work chat app, alter the settings so that you don’t receive notifications outside of working hours to protect your free time, and to allow your brain to truly switch off when you’re working from home.
So there you go – three quick, simple strategies that you can use to foster a healthier work/life balance whilst you’re working from home.