How to Foster Work-Life Balance in this Post-Covid Era
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, maintaining a balance between professional and personal life was easier. This is evident from post-Covid studies like the one conducted by David Hickman Partner Ltd, which revealed in June 2021 that the work-life balance trend had shifted. Since the Covid crisis, there is a “feeling of sacrificing too much time for work at the expense of personal life.” One of the main causes: the rise of remote work.
Indeed, since the first lockdown in March 2020, many companies have provided their employees with the option to work remotely from their homes. Two years later, in the post-Covid era, we are still encouraged to stay at home for several days a week to promote social distancing. However, integrating professional life into the home, which was previously often a strictly personal sphere, can present daily challenges.
For this reason, it’s more important than ever to establish healthy boundaries for a proper balance between professional and personal life.
Why Is Maintaining Work-Life Balance Difficult?
Depending on our profession, it can be more or less challenging to find this precious balance. Nevertheless, this issue has become widespread with the arrival of Covid-19 and the popularization of remote work.
Remote work forced thousands of Belgians to work from home one or more days a week. When you’re accustomed to going to the office for work, it can be difficult to draw the line when you have to work from home. This post-Covid era has questioned work habits that had been established and ingrained for years.
While working from home sometimes demands greater organization and more focus, it also brings the risk of quickly connecting to work tools even outside office hours.
To maintain a balance between professional and personal life, it’s crucial to learn to disconnect and to organize oneself differently to make the most out of remote work.
How to Foster Work-Life Balance?
Here are some tips to foster a balance between personal and professional life and to lead a harmonious life.
Manage Your Schedule
This is the key to success in maintaining both in this post-Covid era. Whenever possible, it’s essential to define time slots and hours dedicated to work. During these slots, organize yourself. Feel free to create to-do lists or simply note down the priority tasks to accomplish. These are the tasks that should be done at the beginning of the day, allowing you to finish your day on time without feeling guilty.
Similarly, you can organize your work according to your energy level. If a task requires a lot from you, tackle it when you’re most energized. By becoming more efficient, you can free up extra leisure time.
The reality of life sometimes makes it easy to become overwhelmed. That’s why it’s essential to set boundaries and establish rules. These rules are personal: determine where the boundary for your professional and personal balance should be.
For instance, learn to enjoy a lunch break without working at the same time. If several people in your household are telecommuting, it could be an opportunity to gather for a convivial break in the middle of the workday.
Likewise, you can decide not to check your emails on Sundays without feeling guilty. Taking time for yourself and your private life will make you even more effective and rejuvenated for the following week.
Define Spaces and Tools
The trap of remote work is using the same devices for both professional and personal use. If possible, try to differentiate the two. Separate your work phone from your personal phone, and ideally, your computer as well.
By doing so, you’ll be less tempted to briefly check your emails or messages during breaks or days off. Even if you don’t respond, their content will linger in your mind. You can also choose to program your smartphone to disable notifications for certain apps after a designated time, as well as on weekends.
Finally, if feasible, create a dedicated workspace or office away from common areas. Here are 10 tips for effectively working from home.
Allocate Free Time
Taking breaks and leisure time for rest or pursuing passions doesn’t make you a less motivated or efficient worker… quite the opposite! Slowing down, getting fresh air, and changing your focus are ways to give your brain a break and quiet an overly active mind.
Initially, don’t hesitate to schedule moments of relaxation to force yourself to take these moments for yourself. Gradually, it will become a necessary and non-negotiable habit.
Once rejuvenated, it will be easier to refocus on the tasks at hand. This will increase your efficiency and productivity.
Skill Up for Efficiency
If you think you have some gaps in a particular area of your professional activity, why not consider online training?
And we’re not talking about training for a profession, but rather for tools you use for work. A simple refresher on tools like Excel, Adobe Suite, Apple software, or email platforms like Gmail or Outlook can boost your efficiency. Continuing to educate yourself is important when working alone; it’s less straightforward to ask for help from a colleague or supervisor from a distance. Additionally, mastering these tools can streamline communication with your contacts, leading to better online work.
By mastering these tools perfectly, you’ll also save work time and gain valuable extra minutes for your personal life!
Fostering the Work-Life Balance
Depending on your job, the amount of time you need to spend working remotely, and the arrangement of your home space, it can be more or less challenging to find a balance between professional and personal life.
It’s up to each individual to set their boundaries and rules in order to flourish. Finding balance in these two areas is essential for leading a fulfilling life!
Want to delve deeper? Explore our other articles:
- How to maintain team cohesion at a distance?
- How to motivate your teams remotely?
- How to improve concentration?