Keeping motivated when working from home.

Work-life balance when working from home: How to stay
motivated and stress-free

Even though many people have more time as they are not required to commute to work, a healthy work-life balance is not always guaranteed while working from home. In this article, you will find tips on how to stay motivated working from home and how you can keep your home office and private life separate, even though they share the same space. These home office productivity tips should help you stay motivated and as stress-free as possible in your home office.

Home of­fice tip 1: Keep fixed work and break times.

A structured daily routine is very important for your personal well-being and your work performance. If you stick to routines, your day will be less stressful and more productive. If you have already found healthy routines that work for you in the office, you should maintain them at home to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Some useful ground rules for work and break times are, for example:

  • Stick to fixed working hours. It is best to stick to your normal office hours.

  • Always take a lunch break and maybe set a reminder alarm. A good guide is to take a 30- to 60-minute break for every 4 hours of work.

  • If possible, do not spend your breaks at your desk. Instead, get some fresh air or relax in another room.

Home of­fice tip 2: Don't al­ways be avail­able.

The boundaries between work life and home life can become blurred when working from home, as your work occupies part of your private space. Many people are tempted to continue working after hours or solve work issues in their free time. However, if you don't allow yourself enough rest, the resulting stress can have long-term health consequences. To prevent this, you can follow these tips for a better work-life balance when working from home:

  • Draw a line between work and leisure: don't check your emails after work or at the weekend.

  • Stay offline: answering emails and phone calls after work or on days off should only be done in extreme emergencies.


Did you know that ...

Working from home often allows for more flexibility in your daily schedule. For example, if you start your workday at the same time you would normally leave the house, you can finish a little earlier. However, if your hours change significantly while working remotely, you should discuss the change with your supervisors and colleagues. This will ensure that you are available during core working hours.


A woman tidies up her work materials after work.

Home office tip 3: Keep an eye on your time management.

Many workers feel more productive working remotely, while others struggle to be as focused and productive in their own homes as they are in the office. However, for a good work-life balance and motivation while working from home, you must manage your work tasks without having to work extra hours. With certain strategies, you can improve your time management even when working from home:

  • Do not put off unpleasant tasks, try to get them out of the way early. After you have checked off a difficult or boring task, you will feel better and more motivated for the rest of the day.

  • Write a to-do list and keep it updated. Sort your work by deadlines and priorities so that you don't forget anything. To keep motivated for bigger tasks, divide them into smaller chunks and set daily goals.

  • Set up fixed ‘focus times’ where emails, chats and phone calls are taboo (if possible) and communicate them to your colleagues. You should then use these time intervals to dedicate yourself to an important task.

Home of­fice tip 4: Avoid pri­vate dis­trac­tions.

It can be easy to get distracted when working from home. Getting small things done, like switching the dishwasher on during your lunch break, won’t affect your work. However, any time spent doing household chores during work hours will mean that you will have to work longer, and this will be more stressful in the long run.

To avoid distractions, you can install focus or productivity apps that allow you to block apps like gaming or messaging apps, so you can concentrate.


Bear in mind that...

People tend to get many small social interactions while working in the office, for example, a quick chat at the coffee machine or meeting for lunch. People working from home tend to have fewer social interactions, which can create some imbalance and negatively affect motivation. Virtual team building measures such as virtual coffee breaks, regular internal newsletters or chat rooms can help against loneliness and increase home office motivation.


Exercise in the fresh air provides a balance to work.

Home office tip 5: Create a physical distance between work and private life.

For a better work-life balance, you should put distance between you and your home office during your free time so that you are not constantly reminded of work. If you work in your living room or bedroom, you should clear all your work items away at the end of each workday or separate the workplace with a room divider. A separate and tidy workspace allows you to focus on your work but can also help you to switch off more quickly after work and maintain a good work-life balance when working from home.

Home of­fice tip 6: Make sure to re­lax and ex­er­cise.

For many people, the morning commute is like a ritual that helps them mentally prepare for the workday. You can establish your own rituals while working from home to make it easier for you to start work and wind down at the end of the day. Here are some ideas:

  • A short walk before and after work: daily exercise is good for the cardiovascular system and can help you clear your mind for the workday or help you wind down after work.

  • Short yoga exercises: yoga sessions can counter the effects of excessive screen time, keeping your back and joints fit and helping you relax. After work, you can also focus more on relaxing exercises or meditation.

  • Tidy up your workspace: put your laptop or any documents lying around in a cupboard or drawer after work.

Home of­fice tip 7: Don't work when you are sick.

When you are ill, you need rest to recover – this is also important when working from home. If you do not feel fit for work, you should listen to your body and, if necessary, take sick leave. This will help prevent your symptoms from getting worse. Even if you can't infect anyone else when working from home, you should not ignore signs of illness – both to maintain a healthy work-life balance and for your physical and mental health.


Did you know that ...

Many people feel tempted to wear sweatpants to work in the home office. However, changing into casual clothes after work can help you draw clearer boundaries between your work and personal life. Getting changed out of work clothes can become an after-work ritual and help you switch off. In our article on ‘Tips and Ideas on What to Wear Whilst Working from Home’explains how to put together a professional yet comfortable work-from-home outfit instead.


Con­clu­sion: Cre­ate a dai­ly rou­tine for a good work-life bal­ance while work­ing re­mote­ly

Although working from home can have many benefits, it also carries the risk of blurring the lines between work and home life. To maintain a healthy work-life balance while working from home, you should maintain fixed daily routines and habits for your workday. For example, set yourself achievable daily goals, take time for (exercise) breaks and don't be constantly available. These tips will help you to concentrate better, become more goal-orientated and boost your motivation when working from home.

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(last accessed on 21.11.2022)

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(last accessed on 21.11.2022)

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(last accessed on 21.11.2022)

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