We are living in the digital age which makes disconnecting difficult as channels of communication are always on. When working from an office there is that physical separation between professional and personal life, which makes ‘switching off’ easier. Now that working from home has become standardised, 'unplugging' at the end of the working day is proving challenging for some. International recruitment agency Robert Walters shares some tips for unplugging from work after office hours.
At the end of your working day, it is important to create a 'shut-down' ritual. This helps to leave your work 'at the office', even if your office is at home. In fact, in doing so, you are replacing the traditional end of the working day that we are all accustomed to: the commute. You could for example take a walk, change out of your work outfit or plan your dinner at a fixed time.
Many employees feel pressure to always be available and check their mailbox even after office hours, but in fact this is not a good habit. Resist the tendency to answer emails in the evening by really disconnecting until the next morning. This way, you can completely let go of the stress of the working day and feel recharged the next day.
The 'out of sight, out of mind' theory is a great way to disconnect from your workday. If you see your briefcase or laptop around the house, you may automatically think about the work you need to do. Simply hiding work related items can prevent that work to-do list trigger.
Make sure that your dedicated workspace is clean and clear at the end of the day, with your laptop packed away.
Some days there aren’t enough hours to achieve everything on your to-do list. It is important to accept this and not put pressure on yourself to get everything done in a day. Prioritise urgent tasks and push your other tasks to the following day. There will always be something else that needs to be tackled so, at the end of the workday, write your new to-do list for the following day. It will stop you creating mental lists of the work you need to complete.
Unplugging after your workday is the key to a healthy work-life balance. Set boundaries, don't overcommit and enjoy your downtime. After some practice, you will be able to unwind after work and get the most out of working from home.
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