Remote Work: Striking a Work-Life Balance during a Global Pandemic

Yes, it’s true that remote working is the way to scale through the current pandemic. You probably thought it was going to be a walkover. After all, you have the required technology on ground. Then you began and you were shocked to see how challenging it was. Well, you’re not alone; people like you are talking about their struggles on Twitter.

There’s no better place to experience this imbalance than Twitter

@duchanegred tweeted; “managing a family of two professionals and three kids has been quite difficult. Their unstable cable internet hasn’t made things any better”. For @simply_omhle, it hasn’t been easy to stay motivated and maintain performance from home. @ErikRunquist has to balance being a good partner, daycare provider and a 4th-grade teacher.

Now you must be wondering, is the work-life balance an impossible feat in this pandemic era?  Well, read on to find out how to achieve a work-life balance.

Time Management

No one is giving out extra hours in a day. Like Michael Altshuler said, time flies but you’re the pilot. It’s crucial you create a schedule for both work and personal activities. After careful analysis, organize your activities in order of priority. 

At the start of the day, preview your tasks and set your specific goals. At the end of the day, review your progress and think of how to tackle the challenges. A schedule will only guide you to spend your time wisely. 

The ultimate time management depends on your will to achieve set goals. 

Creative Childcare 

Managing children could turn out to be one of the biggest challenges of working from home. You can manage it if you use the right strategies carefully. Split your schedules especially caregiving hours with your partner. 

Decide who takes care of the kids at designated hours or alternate work routines. Together with the kids, make a list of creative activities to keep the kids busy. Try to communicate with your kids on how to manage the situation. Teach them when and how to respect the boundaries you have created. 

If possible, employ a nanny or caregiver to assist you. 

Create Boundaries 

The first boundary you need to create is the workspace boundary. Have a designated area in your home for work and work alone. This could be a corner of your room or a free room where you most comfortable working. Everyone must be aware of this boundary and find a way to get your kids to respect this. 

Set realistic and fair time limits for both work and personal activities. Work hours must be set and personal time must be respected. Try not to spend personal time working and vice versa unless it is extremely necessary. Develop a physical and mental transition from each boundary. This way, you can put your best into every activity you intend to do. 

Health Consciousness  

Maintaining your physical, mental and emotional health should always be a top priority. If you get overwhelmed by your challenges and fall sick, things will fall apart again. Good health starts with healthy meals especially breakfast. 

Drink water regularly to keep you hydrated and active to work. Exercise at least three times a week. Sometimes people lose out on hours of sleep because of their tight schedules. Good sleep will boost immunity, mentally alertness and stamina for work. 

The stress from the consumption of alcohol, hard drugs and stimulants is best avoided.   

Regular Breaks  

It’s easy to get so lost in work at the expense of your social interactions. You need to take breaks from work to meet other important needs. Take time to give attention to your partner and your kids. The lack of social interfaces could be elevating your stress levels. 

So, employ every virtual and physical resource to stay connected. Organise video calls with your friends and coworkers for non-official reasons. Read books, watch movies, listen to movies, and take walks. 

During these breaks, find something that will make you motivated as you return to work. 

Seek Help

Work-life balance doesn’t happen miraculously. Sometimes, despite all efforts, things don’t work according to plan. Your kids can be uncooperative, unforeseen events can come up at any time. You can feel overwhelmed and extremely stressed by all your responsibilities. 

Don’t stay silent; don’t act like you’re in control of your situation. While it’s good you try hard to make things work, asking for help is not a crime. Talk to friends in a similar situation, they may be able to proffer sustainable solutions. Your supervisors could cut down your workload if you ask. 

Seek professional help if your workload is taking a mental toll on you.

Final Thoughts

Don’t get too hard on yourself if you don’t seem to be getting it right. What really matters is the progressive efforts you consistently make. Every day, you will learn new ways to adapt.  

Remember, it’s possible to have a work-life balance during the pandemic and beyond. 

Published 05/18/20