Work-life Balance When Working From Home
As a psychologist in private practice in the Bay Area, my caseload is primarily tech professionals. The state of California is under a Shelter in Place Order issued last week. My clients are beginning to share some common themes: cabin fever, loneliness, triggers for past traumas, and difficulty with work-life balance. Home was previous the place to retreat from work and they are feeling unsettled by having to settle in at home.
Poor work-life balance and Burnout are definitely not uncommon experiences in the world of tech. My therapy group Beat Burnout: Rekindling A Sustainable Passion for Work, covers themes such as feeling overwhelmed, and disillusionment with work. COIVD-19 social distancing requirements and the work from home mandate is presenting unique challenges that invite us to have unique solutions. I have reprised some work life balance strategies for anyone struggling to be productive at home.
Continue to Clock In and Clock Out
One of the major psychological and behavioral difficulties of working from home is the lack of external motivators, or cues that the work place naturally provides. For instance, putting on your badge or name tag, sitting at your desk, and the observing eyes of your colleagues. These cues help us maintain focus and stamina. In their absence, sleeping in may become an option. Meetings may be cancelled or held via zoom or other video conferencing technology, but for some of us it demands less attentiveness than being in person. After all, your bottom half may still be in pajamas. To get the mind and body primed for productivity, set a time to start your remote work day, a lunch break, and a time to end the day. This will provide the scaffolding for your regular work ethic.
Designate a Work Space
Your office or cubicle is adorned with all the trappings of work: pens, company phone tree, reference books, etc. It has been conditioned as a place where work happens. It will greatly support productivity to setup, a place in your home where work will occur. Many people due to high bay area rent prices have a one bedroom apartment. Their partners may also be working from home. This will take some conversation and reinvention of the usage of space. For families who have babies and children home as well due to daycare and school closures, rotating the use…