How to Maintain Work/Life Balance When Working Remotely

By Lily Morales
A woman holding her hands up to her face in front of a laptop

Remote work used to be something only a select few were allowed to do. That is, until the Coronavirus hit the world. What started out of necessity in March of 2020 soon became the norm for companies around the world, and many office workers rejoiced. Before COVID in the US, just 6% of white-collar workers worked from home, a number that rose to 65% by May 2020, according to the NY Times. Even the team at Redroc began working from home during the pandemic and found it worked so well that 69% of its employees still work remotely, while the other 31% (the creative team) are now embracing a hybrid schedule. With remote work in place, companies can downsize their office buildings, employees are able to decrease or eliminate their commutes and live wherever they desire, working parents can excel professionally while still meeting their families’ needs and, in many cases, productivity is increased by eliminating in-office distractions, to name only a few benefits. All that said, working from home can also have downsides. Employees can feel isolated from their co-workers, it can be harder to “clock out” when you live at the office, sick days are often spent still working instead of recuperating, and as such, employees can experience burnout.

While I believe that the pros of working remotely heavily outweigh the cons, it unfortunately doesn’t eliminate burnout completely, and it can be challenging to maintain a work/life balance when working from home. Here are some tips that have helped me tackle burnout while working remotely as a designer for Redroc for the last 2+ years.

Turn Off Your Notifications

Now, that doesn’t mean your notifications should always be off, but remote work does not mean 24/7 availability. Turning off your notifications after office hours (or on your lunch break) can be a huge benefit to your mental health and will allow your time away from “the office” to be truly rejuvenating. When working from home, it becomes increasingly easier to work all the time or to respond to emails after hours or on weekends. And while these emails may seem urgent when you get them, the truth is they can probably wait until Monday.

Get Out of the House

Working from the same place you eat, sleep, and exist can become incredibly monotonous, especially when/if your office is in the same room where you perform all the other tasks humans require for survival. A change of scenery, whether that means working from a coffee shop or simply going on a long walk on your lunch break, is key to maintaining your sanity. Plus, moving your body will release chemicals that will allow you to return to your desk in a better mood than when you left it.

Get Your Daily D.O.S.E.

Just as going on a walk can shift your mental perspective, there are other tasks that will bring about all those feel-good chemicals we hear about all the time. This is what’s called your “Daily D.O.S.E. (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins) of Happiness,” summarized in this lovely graphic by Sarita Walsh. Checking a box off each of these lists means you’ll almost certainly have a good day.

Talk It Out

Finally, having a solid support system is essential to eliminating burnout. Open discussions about workplace exhaustion will help you explore solutions and ultimately find relief. This support system can be your friends, partner, therapist, or even an understanding coworker or manager.

While I am no stranger to the difficulties of working remotely, it would still take a heck of a lot for me to give it up. The logistical benefits alone make working from home worth it, but I’ve also been able to shape my life in a way that allows me to work through and overcome burnout when it hits – and flourish everywhere in between.

Looking for help developing a new or existing brand with a team that welcomes in-office as well as remote workers? Contact Redroc for a free creative consultation.

Lily Morales is one of Redroc’s design leads. Along with design for print, she specializes in digital branding and website design. Lily currently works remotely from Switzerland.

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