Working from home has never been more accessible than now — at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies and employees alike had to embrace a changing work culture in order to keep employees safe. Today, many employers have adapted either a fully remote workstyle, or implemented a hybrid system after both a push from employees and an undeniable rise in productivity while working from home. While some may have struggled to stay productive while working from home, many young adults are hoping this work style becomes the norm.
Pros and cons of working from home
While mandated work from home guidelines are no longer in place, you may be moving into or looking for a more permanent work-from-home job. There are certainly many pros and cons to consider while making this change.
Pros can include more independence in your work schedule, resulting in more free time. You may be able to focus better while in your own space and, depending on the company you work for, you may have more flexibility in where you are physically working (i.e. workcations).
This being said, all of these positives could be negatives as well. Maybe you’re someone who needs the structure working in an office provides, and therefore this results in less free time. If you live with other people or even pets, these could be huge distractions constantly pulling you away from work. Similarly, living in your workspace could result in a feeling of always being “on-call,” and therefore never having real separation from your job.
Achieving work-life balance while working remotely
In order to benefit from either a fully remote job or a hybrid system, you’ll need to implement a set of boundaries and rules for yourself. These ensure you’re still fulfilling the requirements of your job but still leaving room to live your life.
Set up your work hours and stick to them
Treat working from home as if you are still working in the office — clock into work at the same time you would begin working in the office, and you shut down your workspace at the same time you would pack up to leave. Plus, you can enjoy the ability to close down your computer and be done for the day — no commute! Just because you have your workstation with you doesn’t mean you’re available at all times.
Turn off work notifications
Similarly, remove yourself completely from work when you are off-hours. If you have a work phone, either turn it off or put it on Do Not Disturb. If you have work email or messaging apps on your personal phone, turn those notifications off at the end of the day. Removing any temptation to check your email or answer a colleague will help create defined lines between work and personal life — for both yourself and anybody trying to reach you.
Take time off without guilt
Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the same benefits as your coworkers that are in-office. Like we mentioned earlier, workcations can be a great advantage of WFH, but they shouldn’t be the norm; just because you can work from anywhere doesn’t mean you should. Take advantage of those vacation days — you earned them!
Decide what you want to gain out of working from home and work toward those goals
This is possibly the most important — make working from home work FOR you!
Are you looking for a fully remote job because you want to spend more time with family? Have more freedom and flexibility to travel? Do you think working from home will increase your productivity and help you achieve higher career goals? All of these are absolutely possible and achievable in a work-from-home lifestyle — as long as you set yourself up to accomplish them. If you were hoping to spend more time with family or your kids, but still find yourself distracted with work when you’re off the clock, you may need to readjsust some things: work hours, availability to colleagues, even reevaluate your reasoning for WFH and maybe test out other options.
We all want to have a better work-life balance, especially at this time in our lives when we have so much we want to achieve; both career-wise and in our personal lives. Working from home can be a great way to work toward these goals, as long as you set yourself up for success from the start!