In the era of the extended workplace, any train seat or coffee table can become a temporary office. Because of this, we find ourselves working longer hours and taking the workload home where it interferes with personal and family time. It can be difficult to find happiness or an inner peace when a notification for your office email account keeps blinking on your smartphone every five minutes. It’s important to find a balance between home life and the professional one, and each employee’s balance will be different. Rediscovering the happy medium may not always be an easy endeavor, but it is certainly worth the effort.
1. Set specific hours
Unless there is a work-related emergency, a quickly approaching deadline or a project that requires another time zone’s involvement, there should be no reason for people to be working into the late hours of the evening. Screens are not only unhelpful for relaxation purposes, but work often invigorates the brain and makes it difficult to rest afterwards. Select instances excluded, turn off the computer and the smartphone at a certain hour and stick to those parameters. Give the brain a break and focus on something for pleasure.
2. Leave work at the work space
If you work from the office, leave your laptop and notes on your desk until the following morning. There’s no reason they should weight down your bag with deadlines and anxieties. If you work from home, leave your computer at your work station and shut it down. Don’t let work follow you around the house once you’re done for the day. After hours should be spent relaxing, focusing on family or doing something for fun. Work is important but it is not your entire life.
3. Take those vacation days or sick days
Taking time off to reinvigorate the senses is important, especially if you’re feeling run down or sick. If you have a lot of vacation days piled up, plan a trip somewhere exotic or go visit some family. Or if you’re sick, actually take time off to get better instead of just working from home and sneezing all over the computer. It’s important to listen to your body when it talks to you!
However you do choose to work, ensure that your information is backed up properly in the event of a malware attack or computer failure. Be prepared for the worst and take care of yourself, two basic tenets of a successful professional.