It’s safe to say that this year has been challenging for all of us; with a global pandemic, political upheaval, and social injustice at the forefront of our reality, 2020 has been a year unlike any other. Heading into 2021, we are hopeful that a return to normal is imminent. However, despite our optimism, we will most likely continue to face unforeseen challenges in both our personal and professional lives. 

With an expectation that working remotely will remain the new normal for at least the first half of the year, we have compiled a list of tips to improve your work-life balance and assist you in becoming a happier, healthier, and more productive employee.  

Recharge Your Batteries

The holidays are right around the corner, so now is the perfect opportunity to take some time for yourself. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, we will be spending more time with our immediate family and most importantly, ourselves! In your shared work calendar, add the dates that you will be out of the office and unreachable. By placing these boundaries, you’ve set the expectation that you will be unavailable to your superiors, colleagues, and clients. This will give you peace of mind when you’re disconnected from the office, and help you remain present. 

Practice Gratitude and Focus on the Now

It’s easy to focus on the negativity surrounding us or the many unknowns the future holds. Staying present and practicing gratitude can be a great way to help us overcome these feelings of despair. Every evening before your head hits the pillow, think of three things in your life that you’re grateful for. It can be something as simple as the delicious coffee you had from a local coffee shop or a great conversation you had with a friend. Cultivating gratitude and focusing on the “now” are excellent tools that every individual has accessibility to and offer not only psychological, but physical benefits to improving your well being.

Prioritize Self Care

Finding time for ourselves in our busy everyday lives can be a difficult task, but a lack of self-care will result in fatigue and burnout. To avoid this, schedule “you” time before your other commitments. How can we expect ourselves to perform to the best of our abilities if we’re not taking care of ourselves? 

Pro Tip – reduce your screen time! Find a novel you’ve been meaning to read and set aside an hour of time before bed. Studies have shown that reading before sleep significantly reduces stress, which will, in turn, help you get a better night’s sleep, even more so than drinking tea, taking a walk, or listening to music would.

Set Work Hours

For many of us, the transition to working from home has been a major change, especially for those with children. Not only are we required to create our own schedule and workspace, but also balance our children’s lives and well being simultaneously. Long gone are the days of a 9 to 5 schedule with the lines now blurred between our personal and professional space. To create boundaries and avoid burnout, it is essential to set dedicated work hours and clearly communicate them to your team. Once you have a routine, be sure to practice self structure, set reasonable expectations, and take breaks in order to refocus on the task at hand. 

Create Short and Long Term Goals

New Year, new you! Who do you want to be in 2021? If you’re hoping to make a positive change in your life or looking for self-development opportunities, now is the time to implement a plan. Create a visual representation of both your personal and professional goals whether that means simply writing them down on a piece of paper or creating a vision board to truly understand your desires. Once you’ve established these foundational elements, devise a step-by-step plan to commit to these goals. 

Setting objectives for personal growth in tandem with your professional development will help ensure you take care of yourself, stay motivated, improve self confidence, and sustain a healthy work-life balance.  

Reassess Your Work from Home Space

If you’ve been working remotely since the beginning of COVID-19, it’s likely you’ve established a dedicated work area or office space within your home. With the end of the year in sight, it’s the perfect time to purge any unnecessary documents, reconfigure furniture, or declutter your space to improve functionality and productivity. 

When reassessing your working space, we suggest evaluating the following components:

  1. Lighting
  2. Configuration
  3. Ergonomics 
  4. Privacy
  5. Network Connectivity

Undertaking an effectiveness assessment relating to your current work space and making the necessary improvements will result in a more productive environment and create a definitive boundary between your personal and work life. 

As 2020 draws to a close, we hope that you are able to leverage some of the tips noted above.  Finding balance in your personal and professional life takes effort, but is a necessary step to ensuring your happiness, health, and well-being during these challenging times. 

Whether you’re looking to make a move from your current role or temporarily out of work, the search for the right contract role or permanent position can make even the most seasoned professional feel uncertain at times. LRO Staffing is here to open doors to opportunities and guide you through the job search process – from the initial interview to the signed contract or job offer.

Julia Roberts

Author Julia Roberts

Over her career, Julia has been fortunate enough to gain knowledge across a variety of Human Resources functions – from Recruitment to Onboarding to Employee Relations. Her current role at LRO is to attract top talent to work for our internal teams and set them up for success throughout their journey with the organization.

More posts by Julia Roberts