With more and more people in the UK working from home, it is becoming increasingly important to assess and overcome the potential pitfalls associated with struggling to maintain a work-life balance.
at home have spoken to their experts at Viking, the direct mail and e-commerce channel of Office Depot, a leading global provider of office supplies and solutions, to find out how home-workers can achieve and maintain a healthy balance of both work and home.
Four ways to maintain a work-life balance
- Keep your office area separate from your personal life: Setting up an office area and keeping it separate from your personal life is a tangible thing you can do to help your mind draw this boundary. Keep everything you need for your work in an area of the house where you won’t constantly spend leisure time – that way, when you enter your office, your mind will be geared up to start working, and relax when you leave again.
- Establish regular working hours: According to Flexibility, a non-profit organisation that promotes flexible working, British workers work the longest hours in Europe. Four million people in the UK work more than 48 hours per week, with one in six working more than 60 hours. And if you work from home, it can be very easy to find yourself still sitting at your desk at 2am. To avoid working too much (although some occasional overtime may be necessary) it’s absolutely essential to establish regular working hours and set yourself into a steady routine.
Conversely, regular working hours can also prevent you from working too little. Home-workers can be easily interrupted by friends and family members, or by other tasks around the house. Setting ‘office hours’ should keep all distractions at bay and allow you to focus on your work.
- Dress for the job: Working in your pyjamas may sound appealing, but your quality of work will likely be affected by how you feel, and the clothing you choose to wear is directly associated with this. You don’t have to wear a smart suit or dress if you don’t want to, but keep your work attire smart casual and slip into your jim-jams after the working day is over – you’ll appreciate them a lot more!
- Relax! One of the main concerns of home working is that people might never switch off completely after working hours and become a new generation of 24/7 workers. For many, it is hard to resist the temptation to check emails before bedtime or first thing in the morning. Mobile phones, smart phones and laptops ensure that our work is always on the move. Set ground rules for colleagues to get in touch at specific times of the day and make sure you turn off your laptop and other communications gadgets once the working day is over.
Whether it’s watching TV, attending a Yoga class or going out to dinner with your family, it’s essential to take a break from your work, re-energize and return to your desk the next day, feeling relaxed and refreshed.
About out experts
Viking, has all the inspiration your office needs, from their catalogues to every product on their website, you’ll find Viking an innovative, inspiring and enjoyable way to shop for all things, big and small, that help smooth your working day. As well as offering superb quality and value, everything’s presented to help you find the products that best suit your needs, quickly and easily, even if time is tight. For more information visit www.viking-direct.co.uk, www.facebook.com/vikingworld or visit www.twitter.com/viking_chat.