5 steps to improve work-life balance

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Our Business Support Recruitment Consultant, Ashley Barrett, discusses some steps that you can take to improve work-life balance while working from home.

During this pandemic working from home can be a real challenge. Especially getting the balance right between when does work end and personal life begin.

It can be a real struggle to switch off and not work overtime which can lead to an ‘always on’ culture and our home and work lives being blurred into one.

To avoid this, here are five steps you can take to improve yours and your team’s work-life balance:


Set boundaries and work hours

Set yourself and your employees’ work hours and clear boundaries that you should all stick too. Be realistic about what can be achieved in the time you have set. Try not to set an unrealistic schedule as this can lead to unnecessary pressure and demotivation if things don’t go to plan.

If you can, allow some flexibility for when the work hours need to be completed. For example, if your employees’ need to start work earlier or later to fit into their schedule at home, then have a conversation about this beforehand. You may even find that some employees prefer to work earlier/later in the day than the usual ‘9-to-5’ as it helps with their productivity.


Fake commuting

Unsure of what fake commuting is? It’s where you can use your daily commute time before or after work to do an activity, such as going for a walk or even reading a book for 30 minutes.

In a poll that Devonshire conducted, 23% of people said they already do fake commuting to improve work-life balance and a further 16% said they may try it in the future. Fake commuting can help with your mental wellbeing by using the time to focus on something positive and beneficial to you.


Work smarter not harder

This involves planning and prioritising. For example, you could set yourself a certain amount of time to complete a task and not allow yourself to be distracted by an email that pops up or focus on less productive activities, as these can eat up so much of your valuable time.

A result of you not working smarter can lead to working longer hours and the feeling of ‘always on’ culture as you are spending longer than you should be at your work desk.


Prioritise your health

Your health should be one of your main priorities, and not just your physical health but mental and emotional health and wellbeing too. Prioritising your health can be anything from light exercise to just talking to someone and getting that burden off your shoulders.

Plus, this can also include getting enough sleep at night to carry out your duties properly. It can be tempting to go to bed later and get up later whilst working from home, but try and create a healthy routine that works for you and ensures you work to the best of your ability.


Don’t be afraid to say no

If you already have a full workload then remember that it is okay to say no. Sometimes we all feel the pressure to take on more than we can handle but this can lead to being overwhelmed and exhausted. Don’t take on any unnecessary stress.

You have to make time for yourself and sometimes the only way to do this is by saying no to something that isn’t a priority right now.


A good work-life balance is different for everyone, we all have different jobs, busy schedules and personal lives but it’s all about finding what works best for you.

If you have any other tips for improving your work-life balance, please share them with us!

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