How To Keep A Work-Life Balance When Working From Home
Before this pandemic hit at the beginning of the year, just under 4% of Americans worked from home 20 or more hours a week. But when COVID-19 shook the country, millions of Americans had to start working from home full-time overnight.
During this pandemic, more than half of workers in the United States transitioned to working from home.
Every industry, even personal injury law, was affected.
With even lawyers having to work from home, it’s easy for the line between work life and home life to become blurred.
But, it is essential to keep your work life separate from your home life.
Many industries were worried that productivity would be down because of the sudden shift to remote work.
However, in many cases, the opposite happened, and people have sacrificed their personal life to fulfill their work responsibilities.
A healthy work-life balance during these unprecedented times is essential to employees’ happiness and their growth within the company.
Employees tend to be more motivated when they are encouraged to find a positive work-life balance.
The right legal case management software can help you when you’re working from home.
In the article below, we will go over a few tips so you can be sure to maintain a healthy work-life balance while working from home.
Table of Contents
- Don’t Work Where You Play
- Ease Into Your Workday
- Create Transitions In and Out of Work
- Start Your Day With A To-Do List
- Take Walks
- Take Breaks
- Plan Your Day Afterwork
- Set Boundaries
- Maintain Your Social Life
- Your Lunch Hour Is Yours
- Use The Automation Features of CoCounselor
- Give CoCounselor A Try
Don’t Work Where You Play
When you transition to remote work, you need to be sure you set up a dedicated workspace to help you stay focused.
A dedicated workspace is also helpful because it helps you switch off when your workday is over.
When you have separate areas for work and play, it makes it easier to switch from your “work self” to your “home self.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have space for a home office.
Even remote workers that live in a studio or one-room apartment can still design a dedicated space where you do nothing but your work.
Physical walls aren’t as important as the mental walls you create in your mind.
Ease Into Your Workday
Don’t reach for your phone and start checking work emails as soon as you turn your alarm off in the morning.
Getting a quick start to your day is important, but don’t do it at the expense of your mental health.
If the first thing you do in the morning is read a stressful work email, it will be tough to recover from that and have a productive day.
And, starting your day at 6 am means by 4 pm, you will have already logged 10 hours or so of work. Do that every day, and you will burn out quickly.
Before you even think about opening your laptop or checking your phone, go through a morning routine every day.
Drink your coffee, read a book unrelated to your work, go for a walk, or spend time with a spouse or your children.
This creates a buffer between waking up in the morning and starting your workday, which allows you to attack it head-on.
And if you have a chat client that your company uses, don’t sign into it right away (unless you have been told to do so).
When you went to work before the pandemic, you didn’t go office to office speaking to everyone first thing, so you don’t need to chat with everyone online first thing either.
Create Transitions In and Out of Work
When you drive to work in the morning and home after work, it gives your brain time to prepare for and unwind from your workday.
Just because that commute doesn’t exist at the moment doesn’t mean you don’t need those transitions.
People often complain about long commutes, but we take for granted the fact that our commutes give us time to transition in and out of our workday.
Before the pandemic, you wouldn’t sign off on a major project and then immediately start playing with your kids.
You shouldn’t do that now, either.
Your brain needs time to refresh and restart. Even though you can no longer “leave the office,” taking a long walk before and after your work hours is a great way to replace your commute.
Start Your Day With A To-Do List
Making a to-do list at the beginning of your workday is a great way to make sure you stay focused and on track during the day.
The physical act of crossing something off a to-do list is also very gratifying and serves as extra motivation, especially for people who question their productivity levels.
We mentioned this earlier, but it’s worthy of its own section.
Taking a walk around the block or going for a bike ride when your workday is done, or before your workday begins, is a great way to transition from one part of your day to the next.
Placing an activity like a walk between your work life and home life is a great way to relax your mind and ease into the next part of your day.
If your area is locked down, or it could be again, do some bodyweight exercises or stretches inside.
Any physical activity will not only add transitions to your workday, but it will also help you stay in shape as you’re stuck inside.
Once you’ve transitioned to remote work and you’ve been doing it for a while, it is very easy to get caught up in your work and go from task to task without realizing how much time has passed.
Going from one thing to the next without any time between to reflect or give your brain a break doesn’t allow you to perform at your best.
Make sure to take plenty of breaks throughout the day.
Spend ten or so minutes walking around the house, speaking to your spouse, getting a snack or a glass of water – anything to take your focus off of work.
Once you get back to work, you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next assignment.
And, if you are in the middle of a long assignment, set reminders on your phone to get up and walk around every thirty minutes or so. You’ll do better work this way.
Plan Your Day After Work
When you’re stuck inside and there’s not much to do outside of your home, it can be hard to stop working.
But, you need to be sure to leave your desk about the same time every day (and don’t go back) to give yourself a clean break from work.
To make sure you don’t get stuck at your desk after working hours, it’s essential to have plans for the rest of your day.
Plan things you can do with your kids, your spouse, or on your own.
Maybe you can dedicate time to learning a new skill or pick up a new hobby – something just for you.
Or cook dinner at the same time every evening.
When you make plans to do something after your office hours, it gives you a reason to get up from your desk on time every day.
Unless you live alone, you will have to set clear boundaries when you are working from home.
Communication is vital, so tell everyone when you are working and shouldn’t be disturbed.
Before you sit down at your desk, communicate your needs with the rest of your household regarding your work schedule and your commitments.
This ensures that everyone is aware of time restraints and your personal needs as you chug through your workday.
Maintain Your Social Life
Even though your social life may be drastically different from before, you still need to maintain some type of social interaction with people outside of work.
Working from home cuts you off from many daily interactions with other people, and if you aren’t used to it, it can leave you feeling lonely and it can make you feel isolated.
Speak to your co-workers throughout the workday with “video coffee breaks” or in an online chatbox.
And when work is over, reach out to your friends outside of work. Even if you can’t go out like you used to, you still need to check in with everybody.
Many people will need the interaction as much as you do.
Your Lunch Hour Is Yours
The best part of working from home is it is whatever you make of it.
That means you can be as creative as you want with your lunch break.
You can completely disconnect from work during your lunch hour at home, so use that time to read, exercise, or call close friends or family after you’ve had a healthy lunch.
Use The Automation Features of CoCounselor
Luckily, personal injury lawyers who have to do the bulk of their work from home can take advantage of practice management software.
CoCounselor, practice management software designed for personal injury lawyers, has automation features that allow you to enjoy more time away from your computer at home.
With its automation features, you can manage and track your referrals with automated emails and custom reports.
You can also create rules and triggers that are designed specifically for your practice.
Trigger automated task assignments, emails, calendar events, and field populations.
Create rules and triggers that are built specifically for your practice. Trigger automated task assignments, emails, calendar events, and field population.
Give CoCounselor A Try
CoCounselor is the only cloud-based practice management solution designed with the Personal Injury Firm in mind.
As you work from home with CoCounselor, you will gain operational efficiencies, stay on the same page with your co-workers, work from anywhere on any device, and build valuable dashboards and reports so you can stay up-to-date on important deadlines and the overall health of your firm.
Working from home doesn’t have to be complicated, and it should be simple to maintain a work-life balance while working remotely.
CoCounselor will help you achieve work-life balance so you can hit the ground running as a new remote worker.
Click the button below to start your Free Demo of CoCounselor.