“Work-life balance” is an alien concept to many, especially the homemakers who work full-time remote jobs. For all the merits of remote work, it can easily throw balance out of your life. Managing a home is a full-time job in itself, and juggling two full-time responsibilities takes a toll on your mind and body.
Even if you remove your household responsibilities, working remotely is not easy. The struggles of remote work are real. You don’t have to take our word, just look at the studies that prove this.
Struggles of Remote Work
The State of Remote Work 2020 report is based on a survey conducted by Buffer in which over 3,500 homemakers participated from across the world. This report reveals that the following are the biggest struggles of working remotely.
- Difficulties with communication and collaboration – 20%
- Loneliness – 20%
- Not being able to disconnect from work – 18%
- Distractions at home – 12%
- You and your teammates working in different timezones – 10%
- Staying motivated all the time – 7%
- Taking time off for vacation – 5%
- Finding a good wifi connection – 3%
- Others – 5%
As you can see, most remote workers find collaboration and communication along with loneliness to be the biggest challenges. While in 2019 reports collaboration and communication ranked 3 and in 2020 it moved up to number 1.
And the Gallup research about millenials says that –
- 29% of millennials feel engaged at work while 71% don’t feel engaged or actively disengaged.
- 20% feel engaged when they don’t meet regularly with their managers.
- 21% of them say that they switched jobs which is 3 times more than the non-millennials who reported the same. On the other hand, 60% are open to other job opportunities.
- Half of them, i.e. 50% (compared to 60% of non-millennials) agree that 1 year from now, they plan to work at their company. Therefore, Gallup calls them a job-hopping generation.
- It is estimated that the millennial turnover costs the United States economy $30 billion (to be precise, $30.5 billion) annually.
- Only 40% of millennials feel that they are strongly connected to their organization’s mission.
- In fact, millennials want a purpose to drive their work not the paycheck. 59% consider opportunities to learn and grow as extremely important. A whopping 87% say professional or career development and growth opportunities are top priorities in a job.
Evidently, it is difficult to maintain feeling engaged and motivated at a job. However, you can follow certain ways to improve your engagement as well as reduce the struggles of your work-at-home job.
Seven Ways to Promote Wellness in Remote Work
Here’s our guide on managing the two (work and home) without taking a toll on your body and mind.
1. Set Up a Home Office Space
The biggest challenge to working remotely is the integration of personal and office spaces. When your work and leisure environments are the same, you often fail to switch from one zone to another. It can hurt the way you spend time with your family and close friends.
A home office need not be as grand as a formal office setup. You might not even need a complete room yourself. If you can carve a corner for your work, it is more than enough. But the more secluded it is, the better.
Always remember to separate between your workspace and the rest of the house. You don’t want to restrict yourself to your workspace all day, and you do not wish to bring work outside that dedicated space.
2. Prioritize your Tasks for Both Home and Office
If you are not prioritizing your tasks, you will inevitably do what is less critical first. To quote Brian Tracy’s rendition of the famous Mark Twain excerpt – “eat the frog.”
The message behind the saying is to do the most demanding tasks first. Then, once you have accomplished the most difficult tasks for the day, you will have ample time for everything.
The same rule applies to both work and home. Figure out what you dread the most, and do that first.
3. Set Daily Goals
Even if you have daily goals for your remote work, it can become difficult to accomplish them if you focus on the end. So instead, break work down into small sections, and focus on accomplishing them one by one.
For instance, if you have to cook, call your insurance agent, attend a virtual meeting, and meet your friends on the same day, break each down into individual actions instead of seeing the day as a whole.
At the same, you must also learn to sacrifice some goals to achieve others. In this example, it could be skipping a home-cooked meal or meeting friends.
4. Take Care of your Body
As with in-office jobs, remote work involves long hours of sitting in sedentary positions. It’ll catch up on your bones, muscles, and joints before you even know it.
When you also have to take care of household chores, you cannot function without a healthy and active body.
The idea of fitness varies greatly. For some, it is being able to flaunt six-pack abs on the beach.
For others, it is the ability to play a game of basketball with their kids. The goal is to start moving regularly and with discipline.
5. Take Care of your Mind
The world is waking up to conversations around mental health, and the time could not have been better for remote workers. What was considered taboo for a long time has finally entered mainstream discussions.
Mental wellness is a pervasive issue. It does not encompass corporate professionals or remote employees exclusively. In the aftermath of Covid-19, many companies have realized the importance of mental health and made provisions accordingly.
Take time out every day to observe your mental state. Meditate whenever and however you can, and pay attention to the little joys of an otherwise repetitive life.
6. Take Strategic Breaks and Time-offs
Hustle and grind are essential, but so are taking breaks. If you are not taking breaks, you’ll burn yourself out very quickly. Unfortunately, breaks are a slippery slope when it comes to remote work. It can be straightforward to lose focus and drift away from responsibilities in the comfort of your home.
The key is to set fixed times for work and break. You can also use these breaks to do light household chores. That way, you won’t stand in front of a pile of household duties at the end of your work shift.
7. Stay Full and Hydrated
What you eat and how you eat will have a significant impact on your work performance. Unfortunately, remote workers do not enjoy the benefit of readily available food from office cafeterias or a drive-through car wash. On the other hand, cooking at home means you get to choose what to eat and when to eat.
Keep healthy snacks with you when working from home. Do meal prep for the week when you have days off, so you can cook up delicious meals in very little time throughout the week.
Last and most important, always stay hydrated. Be it water or fruit juices, or green tea, have some hydrating liquid within reach.
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