Business Mentor: Maintaining work-life balance while working from home

Armando Bartolome

Posted at Feb 06 2021 02:56 PM

Business Mentor: Maintaining work-life balance while working from home 1
A merchant associate for a financial technology company works from his home in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News file photo

Many of us have to work from home because of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions. The move has its pros but also its cons, especially when you were used to working in your office away from all the noise and disorder at home with your children.

Now, besides trying to focus on your work, you also have to set some time to guide the children with their school work since they, too, have online classes to attend. 

We know that there should be boundaries between work and family. So what do we do to achieve a work-life balance?

One of the common challenges is not having enough space for everyone to spread out and do what they need to do. For many, the dinner table has turned into an office space, especially for those who live in a small home. That can be disastrous. 

Given the situation, it is still, however, possible to find some balance and remain productive while keeping your sanity intact.
Working at home doesn’t mean having to take things lightly because whether you are a student, an employee, or an entrepreneur, the only obvious change is the location, but the tasks that need to be done remain the same. 

You just need to find a way how to make it work for you. It is best to inform the family about certain things that may need your individual “space”. 

For example, you may have daily online meetings at a certain time of the day. Let the family know that you cannot be disturbed during this time. In the morning, make it a habit to have some short talk with the family to ask them how they are or if there are things that they may need help from you. 

You may also find it interesting to share your plans for the day. This way, everyone is well-informed and everything is put in order. Updating one another as you start the day is a great bonding moment, don’t you agree?

Given that you now have more time at home, use this time to give yourself a break by taking a walk with your dogs in the morning, or you may want to start doing routine exercise that can help you to become fit and healthy. You may even ask your spouse to join you.

Instead of leaving your laptop, paperwork, etc, put them away after using them so you can easily shift from work to getting some quiet time with the family.

Staying at home during this time doesn’t mean you need to live a sedentary life. You can still enjoy some activities with your family. The usual going to the mall or eating out at your favorite restaurant may not be ideal at this time, but you can create activities which the whole family can enjoy such as play a card game, transform your living room into a camping site, help children learn a new hobby. The list is endless. All you have to do is to be creative to make it all fun for the family.

Working at home also means having to take calls from your employees, partners, suppliers, etc. Remember to set boundaries. Take calls like you would during office hours only. There is a need to respect other people’s time after work so that they can have time with the family. Turning off your mobile phone during dinner can be an effective way to dedicate your time with the family. There is a need to sacrifice a bit and you, as a parent, should also teach your children that when at dinner, mobile phones are not allowed.

I understand how difficult life has been ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. If you feel anxious or stressed to the point that you cannot, don’t hesitate to call for help. 

There are agencies that can help you manage your apprehension so that you can learn to adapt to the “new normal”. It is indeed, overwhelming to be suddenly forced to stay at home. But think of it this way. We can help check the spread the virus by obliging quarantine and health protocols. 

We need to help ourselves have a better perspective. After all, COVID19 has taught us to become more resilient and prepared. While it may take a while to get back to how things were, having our family beside us should be our greatest motivation to become better.

For more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome 
by email:
FB Page: Butz Bartolome