Now that most of us are working from home, we’ve noticed that it’s become increasingly difficult to leave the office at home. Working from home during a pandemic can feel like the hours are running into each other and that there’s no natural division between work time versus personal time. According to Sarah Goff-Dupont of Atlassian, people who are able to integrate their work lives within their daily personal tasks are “work-life integrators.” Still, some people need to feel like they’ve left work for the day before they can truly unwind. Those employees are known as “work-segmentors.” Goff-Dupont notes that “Understanding where you are on the integrator-segmenter spectrum is a major step forward in your quest for work-life balance because it helps you set boundaries accordingly. Here’s how to tell.”
Transition fluidly from work to personal life and back again
Dress like they’re chillin’ at home when they’re working from home
Like to “talk shop” at the dinner table
Don’t mind answering emails and chats after hours (within reason, of course) because they popped out for that CrossFit class in the middle of the afternoon
Have well-defined times when they are working–once they’re done for the day, they’re done.
Wear office-appropriate attire (at least from the waist up!) when they’re working from home
Tend to personal needs like errands and fitness outside of working hours
In extreme cases, don’t keep photos of their family and friends on their desks.
For those who identify with work-segmentation, being able to shut down and disconnect from work at the end of the day is essential for our mental health and well-being. Both integrators and those who practice segmentation find curating a ritual helpful to achieve work-life balance and recharge. Developing a ritual doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as honoring a personal boundary and shutting down your laptop right at 5:30 pm.
Intention and identity setting.
As much as we’ve made it an effort to be radically transparent at Glassdoor, 2020 proves itself as being the year of revealing more of our full selves even at work. Set your intention for the day; try not to switch identities at work and after.
Alter your environment.
Dim the lighting in your home and put on a different playlist. Switch up your wardrobe to embrace your mood at the moment.
Commit yourself to dedicated time to turn your laptop off—mute notifications on your phone’s work apps. While you’re at it, consider whether you need those apps on your phone at all. Make an effort to silence the pressure or need to play into “hustle” culture, especially given that we’re currently surviving a pandemic and witnessing systemic racial injustices.
Get those chores done.
After you’ve cleared away the coffee mugs and dishes on your desk, dedicate yourself to knocking out a small routine task. Bring in the mail, make your bed, feed your pets, water your plants, or chip away at the laundry pile waiting to be folded.
One of the best things about not having a commute is that you have more time to cook from scratch. Try to reframe meal preparation as part of your self-care routine. Cooking could be a big win for your body, your budget, and your work-life balance.