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How do you keep work-life balance under control when you’re working from home?

Ondernemers | 16 April 2020 | Written by Magali De Reu

The majority of Belgians have begun working from home due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. You might find it better: more freedom, you can work at your own pace and you have the chance to work in a familiar environment. Unfortunately, there are also challenges. Think about keeping up a healthy work-life balance.

How do you keep work-life balance under control when you’re working from home?
Exactly how do you do that? We help you out with five ready-to-use tips.
 
  1. Set up a separate, ergonomic workspace
  2. Set clear ground rules and keep communicating
  3. Take adequate breaks and stay healthy
  4. Invest the time you save in yourself
  5. Prepare your business for the next step

1. Set up a separate, ergonomic workspace
Would you like to really keep your work-life balance? It’s best to clearly delineate between your working and living spaces. It might be tempting to move mountains of work at the kitchen table, but it’s not ergonomic at all. And, in the long term, it’s not very good for your mental and physical well-being either. 

As such, it’s best to create a separate workspace, ideally in a separate room. Make sure it’s set up ergonomically by tuning it to your body:
  • A suitable desk chair: Adjust it to suit your physique.
  • A separate desk: You’re able to adjust the height of your desk.  
  • The correct placement of your computer screen: You want it at eye-height. This will help you avoid neck problems. 
  • A separate keyboard and mouse: Preferably at elbow height, 15–20 centimetres in from the edge of your desk. 
  • Sufficient light: It will raise your productivity.  

2. Set clear ground rules and keep communicating
Good agreements make good friends. Are you working with clients who would normally expect you to be physically present? When teleworking becomes an obligation, it’s best to set some guidelines and working methods, even if they’re just temporary. After all, nothing is as annoying as feeling like you’re no longer on the same wavelength!

Schedule your daily or weekly consultations via video-calling services such as Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom. This approach may give necessary context that is often lacking when you communicate using email and chat services. It also gives you and your client or supplier the opportunity for an informal catch-up. And that does you both some good, right?

Are you worried that your son or daughter will suddenly appear in frame, pulling silly faces, when you’re on an important video call? Don’t leave anything to chance. Make clear rules for your family! If possible, take it in turns with your partner to spend time with your children so you’ll be able to work undisturbed in a set timeframe. 

3. Take adequate breaks and stay healthy
A lot of self-employed people and freelancers are most productive when they work from home, not when they’re at a client’s or supplier’s site. Does this sound familiar? It may leave you tempted to put the pedal to the metal all day long. 

But taking adequate breaks is exceptionally important—for the good of both your body and your mind. Taking a break contributes to a healthy lifestyle—which some self-employed people and freelancers risk losing as a result of working from home. Make sure you take a half-hour walk for a some fresh air and exercise. Stay hydrated and drink water regularly. Try to meditate, even if it’s with the help of a YouTube tutorial. Or recharge your batteries with a 20-minute powernap. 

Contrary to what you might think, these breaks are not wasted time. They actually improve your concentration! 

4. Invest the time you save in yourself
Are you getting your work done more quickly now that you’re working from home? Do you still have a few hours left over at the end of the workday? Think of these leftover hours as time to invest in yourself. A few examples:
5. Prepare your business for the next step
Has working from home given you the inspiration to take your self-employed career to the next level? Or would you like to fine-tune certain processes? Make short work of this, at home, at your own pace.

Think about: 
Would you like to know more about the next step for your business?

  Ask our experts your question today!