Dog laying on couch typing on laptop

Did the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly drop you into a life of remote work? If so, you aren't alone!

Now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifting in many areas, a lot of employers are providing an option to stay at least partially remote, if the job allows it.

While working remotely has its benefits, it can be difficult to create healthy boundaries between working from home and simply being at home.

Create A Dedicated Workspace In Your Home

Image of man working on a computer desk.

Create a quiet, private space, preferably in a room with a door that closes. At the end of the day, you can close the door to create a physical boundary in your home. Out of sight, out of mind!

If you're short on space, look for an area you can use as an office when you need it, but does something else when you don't. Clear it off for work mode, and then put your work items away when you're finished.

Create A Routine You Can Stick To

Hand pouring cream into iced coffee glass.

Working remotely doesn't mean forgetting about the importance of routine!

Waking up every day at the same time, getting ready (including changing out of PJ's!), and having your coffee before starting your workday can make you feel better and ready to face the day.

A routine will help you:

  • train your brain to expect that work will start at a set time

  • avoid distractions and be more productive

  • let those around you (children, spouse, roommates) know that you're "off-limits" until your next break

Set Your Working Hours

And make sure to include breaks!

Spongebob Squarepants putting piece of paper on a desk.

Maintain work-life balance by setting working hours (and breaks!) for yourself — and sticking to them. 

It's easy to get sucked into a project and work "just a few more minutes" at the end of the day or skip your lunch break to wrap up a project. However, this can quickly lead to burnout if you do it often enough.

Use a spreadsheet or Google/Outlook calendar to keep yourself on schedule and track your productivity.

Meet June

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June works as a computer programmer in a corporate office, but in the COVID-19 environment, she'll be working from home indefinitely. She lives with her partner, who's also working remotely.

June feels unproductive and is quickly falling out of a routine. She's strict about working only from her dedicated office but wakes up later than usual and stays in her PJ's for most of the day. She's been working later than her scheduled hours to get all her work done.

Quiz

What should June do first to address her work/life boundary concerns?

Have her partner go back to the office

Start working from her kitchen table

Write out a routine and stick to it

Ask her boss to adjust her working hours

Take Action

Working remotely has its benefits, but if you’re not careful it can end up disrupting your work-life balance.

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Jumpstart your new remote job or find some balance in your current virtual job:

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This Byte has been authored by

JT

Jamie Taylor

Instructional Designer ✺ eLearning Developer