We’ve finally got dates when, fingers crossed, we can get back to more of the “old normal”. But at the same time, we’re still in lockdown — and it’s a very long time since the novelty of working from home wore off! Long gone are those thoughts of a better work-life balance being a welcome side-effect of enforced home working. Instead, many people doing office support jobs from home are now truly in the quagmire. They seem to be working more hours than ever, and the lines between home and work-life are completely blurred.
If that sounds like your life, it’s time to make some changes. Our London recruitment agency recommends these three good habits to cultivate if you’re doing an office job at home:
The morning space
Yes, you used to scroll through your emails on the train, but that was a good transition exercise. With your workspace at home, it’s all-too-tempting to log on the moment you wake up. You’ve potentially got work emails and messages on your phone, but it’s too much and a shortcut to burnout.
A good morning routine will be your saviour here. Imagine you were leaving the house. Your morning routine would consist of elements of self-care through getting reading or even going to the gym. Only after that would you head to your computer.
Instigate a working-from-home office routine with a healthy breakfast — where you don’t scroll through messages — and perhaps do an online workout before you start your working day.
A defined workspace
Unfortunately, we don’t all have the luxury of a home office. However, what you do need to accept is that you need a fixed and defined home workspace. If that means squeezing a desk into the corner of the lounge, then so be it.
Your brain is super-powerful at making associations, but it’s not so good at breaking them. This means that if you’re trying to work from the dining table, you’ve probably found your mind expects food on a conveyor belt. If you’re trying to work on the sofa, it probably expects TV. It works the other way, too. With a designated desk, your mind will associate that space with work and work only.
And for goodness’ sake, have a comfortable upright chair!
Now you’ve got an “office” to leave
If you follow the trick above, it means that mentally, you’ve got an “office” you can now leave work at. The time at the end of the day, without a fixed commute, no longer blurs into the evening. You can set a finish time, log-off, and walk away. At lunchtime, you can walk away from it too, perhaps by literally going for a walk around the block.
Be firm with yourself. Your productivity at work will be much improved if you bring some balance back into your life.
Getting it right
Finally, have some evening plans. No, you can’t go out for post-work drinks, but you can plan TV shows, a particular recipe to cook, schedule a run, or take the next step with a hobby. This will give you something to leave work for, helping you shape habits for a healthier work-life balance.
Most employers will be very supportive of this approach, understanding that boundaries have become stretched and blurred. However, if you meet resistance, it may be worth considering other jobs. There are plenty of permanent and temporary jobs in London happening both onsite and remotely.
Love Success is a leading London PA & office support recruitment agency.
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