With the second lockdown around the corner and many of us going back to working from home, this is the perfect opportunity to find the right balance between your work and home life. Only 5% of the UK workforce were working from home prior to COVID compared to 52% of the UK workforce working from home during the pandemic. This begs the question, how can you juggle work, rest and play all under one roof in these unprecedented times? 

What is work-life balance? 

A work-life balance is the amount of time a person focuses on working compared to other aspects of their life – whether it is hobbies, relaxing or spending time with your family and friends. This balance will vary depending on your age, career, goals etc. Whoever you are a work-life balance is the key for your happiness in the workplace and at home. 

Why do you need a work-life balance? 

  • Prevents burnout in the workplace – working constantly without taking breaks or doing something enjoyable or relaxing can lead to reduced productivity. Eventually this will start to affect the quality of your work. Burnout can cause fatigue, irritability and mood swings. This additional stress can lead to physical and mental health issues.
  • Become a more rounded individual – Employers are always looking for people who have hobbies and interests out of the work place. This is what makes you stand out from other candidates as this will mean you have additional skills which makes you a more interesting candidate. Having your whole life revolve around work will make you less attractive to potential employers. 

How to master work-life balance 

TIP 1 – Designate a specific space in your home which is only used for working. Having these boundaries will ensure you are separating work from your home life. Personally, I use the dinner table as my work space but I sit in a different chair to where I usually eat. It may seem small and insignificant but it really does help. 

TIP 2 – Explore the outdoors. Lockdown rules allow you to exercise outdoors once a day so take this opportunity and get some fresh air. Several studies have shown that exercise lifts your mood and helps depression and anxiety. Leaving your house will also help to break up the day. 

TIP 3 – Have a clear cut-off point. Stop working after a certain number of hours or stop working around dinner time. After you pass the cut-off point turn off your email notifications or whatever it is you need to do to completely switch off from work. Book something at the time you want to stop working such as a catch-up call with your friends and family or a virtual class. 

TIP 4 – Weekends are for you to have fun, relax and enjoy yourself! Plan something on the weekend to look forward to such as baking, date-night or a family quiz. 

By Pooja Depala 

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