By Honor Credit Union The end of the workday comes, it’s time to unplug and unwind, but you hear a familiar ‘ding’ on your phone signaling a new email in your inbox. Do you jump to respond? In a remote work environment, it can be a challenge to separate work time from home time. With your computer easily accessible from the kitchen, it’s easy to hop back on for a quick response while cooking dinner (or bypass dinner time entirely). Because of this new reality, being intentional about disconnecting from work can help protect your work/life balance.

Schedule Time Away In Your Calendar

  • You know those important projects that get done because you’ve set aside time for them?  Your time away from your desk should be one of them.
  • As much as we rely on our calendar to manage our work time, scheduling time to unplug in your calendar can help make sure it happens.

Set Expectations Regarding Your Availability

  • Collaborating in a remote work environment means more email, phone calls, Zoom meetings, and expectations that you’re always active and available.
  • Use tools in your work platforms to indicate you’re unavailable when you walk away, so you don’t feel compelled to go back to your desk and respond whenever you hear the ‘ding.’

Have A Backup Person

  • If you’re the go-to person in your department on a given topic or task, be sure to have a number two person designated for when you’re unavailable.
  • Be sure to let others know who the backup person is and when they should be contacted.
  • Communicating with your team on the status of current projects is essential to making sure everyone is on the same page and knows their responsibilities.

Schedule The End Of Your Day

  • Establish a closing habit and a dedicated time to stop working.
  • Clean up your workspace, closing any open browser tabs, or even start your to-do list for the next day.
  • Try to end the workday the same way, every day.

Focus On The Present

  • If you find unplugging to be a struggle, consider the impact on your family and friends when you are perpetually plugged in.
  • Limit your daily screen time. Are you staring at a screen during work hours, and then scrolling through another one after work?
  • Plan family dinners or activities and resist the urge to “just check one more email” so you can focus on the ones around you.
When it comes to unplugging from work, being intentional is key. Protect your work/life balance by incorporating small strategies to truly stop working when the workday ends.

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