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Working From Home? Six Steps to Achieve Work-Life Balance During a Pandemic

BOMA/GLA Education

Since the start of the COVID pandemic, record numbers of people have begun working from home.

About one-third of Americans now report to work from a home office. This could be in their kitchen, their bedroom, or even a garage. Working from home is a dream for some but can be a nightmare for others. Having a home office just a few feet away from family members, many people who telework find it difficult to achieve work-life balance.
Many of us work long days to keep up with the many demands of our positions. While this may have felt manageable in the past, teleworking can blur the lines between work-life and home-life. For some, this creates the sensation of working more than usual, or never being off the job. There are ways to establish work-life balance. The following tips can help.

1. Create a Dedicated Workspace in Your Home

Create a workspace away from your bedroom or spaces in your home where members of your household spend time. Use screens to create privacy if you don't have a dedicated home office.
Establish rules, especially if you're at home with a spouse or with children who interrupt throughout the day. For example, put up a sign on your screen or door that says "do not disturb" when you need time without disruption. This creates boundaries so that when it's time to work, you can have the space you need to concentrate. If your dedicated workspace is in a noisy area, use white noise to dampen sound and make it easier to concentrate.

2. Schedule Regular Breaks Throughout the Day

When you were working in your building or office, you took regular breaks throughout the day. You walked from your office to check on a tenant or you went for coffee with a colleague. Whatever the reason, you moved more.
Working from home, people often forget to take these small breaks. This can lead to burnout and can make working from home seem more intensive than working in the office. Scheduling regular breaks throughout the day can help. Take small timeouts to spend a little time in the yard or with your kids. Come back to work when you're feeling refreshed and ready to be productive again.

3. Take Days Off

Always have a day off on the schedule to give yourself something to look forward to - whether you have plans or not. Taking time off can rejuvenate you by giving you time to focus on self-care. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, time off prevents burnout and improves productivity. Avoid the temptation to save up vacation days during this remote work time. Taking time off is good for you, even when you're not going into the office every day.

4. Stagger Off-Hour Duties with Your Team

Property managers often have off-hour duties; maintenance problems, security alarms, you name it. Take special care to stagger off-hour duties with your team. Spread the work out as much as possible. Managing work-life balance is tricky enough when working from home. It gets even trickier when people are on call.

5. Practice Self-Care

Personal wellness matters. People who feel well, and who are healthy, are less overwhelmed by their tasks at work. Wellness keeps productivity high and lessens the chances of overworking. Practicing self-care is especially important during this pandemic. Examples of self-care include:
• Get your flu shot.
• Sleep at least seven hours per night.
• Communicate with your doctor when you're feeling ill.
• Know when to see a therapist.
• Eat right.
• Exercise.
• Take time for yourself.

6. Streamline Processes

There are many software platforms designed to streamline processes with your tenants. This is a great time to explore software that improves workflow and communication. The more streamlined your processes are, the easier it will be for you to step away from work when the workday ends. Feeling overwhelmed by the task of finding new software?

You're Not Alone

Working during this pandemic has been difficult. If you're struggling to maintain work-life balance, know you're not alone. Take care of yourself and establish healthy boundaries to avoid burnout. These tips will help you remain productive in your job.

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