Since you’re working remotely during the pandemic COVID-19, can you feel the challenges? Start from blurred lines of working hours, distraction to burnout, do you experience it? So these are some of the problems with flexibility and work-life balance for remote workers.
The transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic offers flexibility and work-life balance for many workers. But, a recent Conference Board survey finds that 47% of Americans are worried about their boundaries of personal and professional life.
The survey revealed that working hours and fatigue increase during the pandemic when the majority of office workers are away. Respondents also said that the decrease in the number of days off and sick days affected mental and moral health.
After two years, more than 80% of respondents are now pretending to go back to the workplace, as the survey reveals. Further, about 75% of workers believe that returning to the workplace will result in culture, teamwork, and collaboration. But longer work hours and more stress may not always be solved by returning to the workplace.
1.300 of professional respondents showed concerns about remote work challenges. The limited connections with coworkers and blurry boundaries between work and life are the main concerns of fully remote workers. Here is the detail:
- Limited connection with coworkers is a top issue for more than half of individuals who work 100% remotely (51%).
- The blurring of work-life boundaries is a problem for nearly half (47%) of people (for example, difficulty off from work and always being "on").
- The expectation to always be "on" or available concerns one-third (34%) of respondents.
- Increased work hours or workloads are a concern for 32% of respondents.
While 58% say they can increase the work-life balance during the pandemic.
Well, the all-day obsession with work, checking your email, and screening your monitor with little break and no boundaries may impact negatively on your work-life. And this is an unhealthy lifestyle for remote workers.
Why are set boundaries for remote workers important?
Involving work in your personal life can increase your stress levels, and it can impact your family life, according to Forbes Magazines. So you need to set boundaries while working remotely.
You will benefit from setting clear boundaries while working remotely. It can help you manage a healthier work-life balance between you and your family, as well as your coworkers’ work life.
In order to stay happy and productive while working remotely, let’s take a look at how to set boundaries for remote workers below.
Set boundaries for remote workers
1. Define your boundaries
You must know what kind of boundaries you want to set. Healthy boundaries are the limit you set around your time, emotions, and physical and mental well-being to maintain your resiliency, consistency, and sense of self-worth. These boundaries protect you against being taken advantage of, drained, or manipulated by others.
Boundaries can be set with family, friends, coworkers, strangers, or romantic relationships. Set healthy boundaries and let others know what you allow, even if they're less obvious than a fence. Importantly, boundaries provide you with the power to manage your healthier work-life balance.
2. Create a workspace
Having a workspace can help you keep your work and home lives separate. A workspace for work allows you to keep work tasks separate from the rest of your personal life. And when you're in that space, your brain switches more easily between "relax mode" and "work mode".
If you’re working from home, setting up a home office in an office or a spare bedroom can be as simple as purchasing some furniture. But if you don’t have a specific room at your home, create your own workspace with creativity. On the other side, you can choose the coworking space, cafe, or library outside your home as an alternative workplace.
3. Openly communicate your boundaries
As soon as you've defined your boundaries, let your coworkers and family know. This needs to inform everyone and prevent misunderstandings. If you prefer to exclusively work during the week but are prepared to deviate from this rule in the event of an emergency, be sure to specify what defines an emergency.
Describe an urgent situation in detail and indicate how you would like to be contacted. Let everyone know that you will be working intensely between any designated “Do-Not-Disturb mode” during the day.
Give them a time frame of when you will be around as well. By outlining specifics like these, you can help your team stay on task and increase efficiency while lowering the possibility of any red lines being crossed.
4. Stick to the routine
For remote workers, “commute” is frequently just a few steps from the bedroom to your workspace. So you can set the routine that will help you enter “work mode” during the day and “relax mode” at the end of the day. Setting up morning and evening habits signals your brain to know when to work and when to stop easily.
Importantly, knowing when you're productive can help you focus on work. You can use a time-blocking method for work, take a break, and be distracted-free. At the end of the week, you can preview how you spent your days. If it works, you can repeat and stick to this routine. It can help you stay happy and productive to work.
5. Take your time-off wisely
You have the option to be off work for some period. In order to distract yourself from the work responsibilities you are currently putting aside, consider what would bring you the most happiness.
Many companies divide paid time off into three distinct categories: personal, sick, and vacation. Other employers combine all of these into a single pool of flexible paid time off.
You best not check email and collaboration tools if you inform coworkers, managers, and clients that you'll be having an unplugging vacation. So that no one has to wait around and expect a response, let everyone knows that you'll be away and won't be responding to messages.
According to Inc., every 10 hours of vacation time each employee used resulted in an 8% boost in their year-end performance. Another found that highly accomplished individuals who had to take time off were much more productive than those who worked longer hours.
According to science, taking breaks actually makes you more productive. Just think about the impact a week off from work will have.
The more often you know for yourself, the easier you set your boundaries. You can get the respect and confidence that leads you to work-life balance.
Hopefully, by setting up boundaries, you can feel less stress and express your best potential. Check out how collaboration tools can help you get things done.