Career Woman

Switch off from work with these smart WFH strategies


This guide outlines strategies to ensure you switch off from work when you are working from home, to stop work blurring into your private life.

Remote work has been fast-tracked by the covid-19 pandemic. It is supposed to be the future of work, but that future is the present-day reality. Companies had to leverage technology to remain relevant and deliver services during the lockdown. Employees are fast catching up on the benefits, which have remained a valid option. 

Some organizations offer hybrid options based on some job roles, and some can work remotely for a while. Remote work improves productivity by reducing commuting time, which employees can channel to more productive tasks. Employees can choose the most appropriate working hours based on their needs. Thus increasing efficiency and improving work-life balance — but often at the expense of being able to switch off. 

The struggle to switch off

As beneficial as remote work is, it can easily prove burdensome. Employees who don’t know how to switch on and off work mode might lose the work-life balance that remote work brings. Research shows that 75 percent of employees have experienced burnout. And about 80 percent of workers in a survey confirmed they struggled to switch off in the evenings. 

The drive for perfection or accelerating progress up the career ladder might make it difficult for some people to stop work. For others, the work demand and the expectation to always be available outside work make it hard to pull the break. There are ways to switch off work and avoid thinking about work or associating work with home. Here’s how to switch off when working from home and improve your work-from-home lifestyle. 

Switching On and Off

Working from home can be challenging, especially for those who don’t have a dedicated workspace. There are so many distractions from the kids, chores, and TV, and it’s difficult to get in the zone and be productive. And when you finally get kicking, it can also be a struggle to switch off because, well, you’re at home. This inability to designate specific work time can quickly affect productivity and concentration. 

Motivating yourself to work at home can be a struggle, and when you get started, you want to do so much. When working from home, there’s no commute, and you can decide to put in a few more hours. This disruption in your schedule affects other aspects of your personal life. It causes mental stress and unproductivity that affects relationships with your loved ones. 

Working Outside Working Hours

Other factors that affect people’s ability to switch off and differentiate between work and personal time include people’s workaholic approach to work. Your organization could constantly demand that you be available at their beck and call, even outside work hours. 

The pressure of balancing house chores, taking care of kids, and running errands can also restrict workers from creating a clear distinction. Averagely, employees work three extra hours when working from home. 

Knowing When to Quit 

Finding the right balance between work and personal life reduces stress and increases happiness. Employees enjoy better relationships with family. There is a better commitment and motivation to work. Here’s how to separate the two.

Designate Online and Offline Work Hours 

The best way to create this switch off distinction is to create boundaries. Stipulate when your offline and online work hours are. Ensure to inform your colleagues about these hours; anything after that should wait till the next day. Except for emergencies, resist the urge to pick up work calls after work hours. 

Take Normal Breaks and Lunch 

There’s a tendency to over-push yourself at home. It would do you a world of good to take breaks and also have your lunch. After working a few hours, stretch a little, allow your brain a breather, then continue. 

Create a Workspace 

To reduce distractions at home, you want to create a space dedicated to work. Ensure the dedicated spot is well-lit and comfortable. This can help juggle your mind and help you stay focused compared to working on your bed. 

Plan Holiday Time 

The beauty of remote work is properly combining the comfort of home and office perks. Working from home isn’t an excuse to deny yourself a vacation because you see your kids daily. Deliberately plan your holiday and inform your colleagues of the decision and how best to reach you. 

Don’t Work Overtime 

Remember, no matter how much you get done, there’d still be more work. But if you must work late into the night, ensure to take breaks from the screen light and use eyeglass frames. There are recommended eyeglass frames for women and men that reduces the impact of blue light rays and eye strain. Also, purchase an ergonomic chair and desk tools to reduce body aches and pains during long hours. 

Avoid ‘Home’ Activities During Work Hours 

There’s always that temptation to take a quick nap or quickly do the dishes. It would help if you were disciplined enough to resist the urge to channel into chores to maintain productivity. 

Live a Healthy Lifestyle 

Remote work can often enable a more sedentary lifestyle. You must consciously monitor your diet and avoid eating junk to return to work. Ensure to take care of your health by maintaining a sleep cycle and exercising regularly. 

Engage in Outdoor Activities 

Remote work for some can be equated to house arrest. Make plans to leave home and enjoy the sun. Don’t restrict yourself to being at home all the time for work or personal reasons. Go swimming, camping, or engage in some fun activities to switch off. 

Be Determined

The key to making the most of working from home is to be determined. Be determined to have a schedule, push yourself when there’s no motivation, and log off after the day’s work. With a proper schedule, you should be able to switch off and on easily. 

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko


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