Woman working at home.

More than ever before, many companies are asking their employees to work from home to remain safe and unaffected. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to capture headlines in the news and spread rapidly, employees are struggling with finding a sense of calm and stability throughout the ever-changing updates and reality that this virus has become our new normal for the time being. So what does that mean for the employees who are fortunate enough to work remotely?

Although working from home has many benefits, some being flexibility, increased productivity, zero-commute, and more quality time with your loved ones, working remotely also could make it more difficult to power off and unplug from your workday, ultimately decreasing your work-life balance. Work-life balance, especially during uncertain times like COVID-19, is essential to employees’ growth and personal happiness and company retention. When employees are encouraged to find a positive work-life balance, they tend to be more motivated to produce great work.

Here are our 11 tips to achieve work-life balance when working remotely:

1. Set a structured work schedule.

To maximize your productivity and your workday while working remotely, it’s imperative to set a cohesive schedule for yourself to guide you through the day. Given that working from home can be more comfortable and a bit relaxing compared to being in the office, imposing a structure on your day will limit the distractions and keep you focused on the tasks at hand.

2. Make a to-do list to start your day productively.

In addition to crafting a specific structure for your day, curating to-do lists are helpful to ensure that you’re being productive and accomplishing what needs to be done in your role. Physically crossing tasks and projects off a to-do list can be gratifying – especially if you are questioning your productivity levels and progress.

3. Get grounded.

Try not to roll out of bed to start working right away. Instead, before firing up your laptop, attack your morning routine: shower, grab a bite too, meditate and yoga vinyasa flow (totally up to you!). Take the time you need before the workday starts to maximize success later in the day.

4. Set boundaries.

Living with roommates, a significant other, or children? Take your space when you can and communicate your needs, time restraints and work schedules clearly and ahead of time. Communication is key! Be mindful of proactively communicating your needs regarding your upcoming work schedule and commitments beforehand, so everyone is aware of various time restraints and your personal needs as you journey through your workday.

5. Hit your stride.

Develop a workspace cadence with your roommates to ensure that you’re all able to work from home comfortably and without any distractions. Although working from home tends to be more laid back than working from the office, it’s crucial to be professional at all times. Develop a workspace cadence with your roommates or significant other to limit potential issues, especially during video conference calls.

6. Designate a workspace.

Establish a dedicated workspace within your home to help you create a consistent routine for when it’s time to work. When it’s time to clock in, you’ll know to go to a specific area within your home, similar to being in the office.

7. Take breaks.

Stretch or take a walk to rest your eyes often from your computer screen in 10-15 minute intervals. To not get bogged down or overwhelmed with your workday, take some time to get up, stretch, and move around your home. Taking a break from staring at your computer screen will help you maintain productivity in the long run.

8. Claim your lunch hour for self-care.

The beauty of working from home is it truly is what you make of it. Get creative during your lunch hour by dedicating yourself to practice acts of self-care. Some ideas: a light stretch, yoga exercise, eating something healthy, a call with your therapist or a close friend, or guided breathing.

9. Get organized.

Use organizational tools like Google calendar, Asana, etc. to block off specific periods of your workday to amplify workflow. When working from home, teams usually pile on the conference calls to ensure that deadlines are being met and communication doesn’t falter. However, you can still leverage time gaps on your calendar to make sure that you’re being productive and getting your work done.

10. Transition out gracefully.

Don’t rush or cram to accomplish tasks that can be easily finished tomorrow. Instead, gently bow out of your workday by wrapping up current projects and prepping your to-do list for the next day.

11. Mark the end of the day.

Schedule some time to celebrate the end of your workday with your loved ones and/or roommates with 1-2 fun activities. You made it! It’s now the end of your workday and you’re feeling accomplished and capable. What better way to celebrate with loved ones or your roommates? Think of a bonding activity that you could do together to close out the day.