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How to design your home for a better work-life balance

How to design your home for a better work-life balance

When you’re working from home, the lines between your work and personal life can get blurry. Work responsibilities can easily seep through your personal space, affecting your work-life balance. Thankfully, this can be addressed with the right home design.

How does home design affect work-life balance?

Every day, you’re presented with choices. You may think you have complete control over them, but most of the actions you take are actually a response to how your environment is designed. 

A study reveals that your environment is the “default option to which you are assigned.” This is why you’re likely to give in to heavy eyes and sneak in some shut-eye in the middle of the workday if your workspace offers a clear view of your bed.

The good news is that you can boost productivity and achieve work-life balance despite living where you work. A great place to start is to opt for a building design that promotes the default actions you want to take.

How to achieve work-life balance through home design

While it has benefits, working from home may cause a lack of boundaries between work and personal space. Here are some ways to resolve this and design your home for a better work-life balance:

Design a closet that makes dressing up enjoyable

Work-life balance requires a distinction between being in work and relaxation mode. For this reason, working in pyjamas may further blur the boundaries between your work and personal life.

On the flip side, replicating a get-ready morning routine, including getting dressed, can help you feel productive. Wearing something similar to what you’d normally wear at the office can signal your brain that you’re about to enter work mode.

This is why a power blazer might give you the confidence to power through the day when you feel uninspired at work. Of course, you don’t need a walk-in closet to wear this, but having a closet that would inspire you to dress up in can help. Colour-coordinating your wardrobe, installing shelving units, or using a clothing rack can be a great starting point.

Design “space separators”

The lack of physical boundaries between work and home tends to cause work-life imbalance. If you find it difficult to unplug at the end of the day, create physical separation for work and relaxation.

Partition walls, storage solutions, or curtains can serve as separators between work and living spaces. In particular, a bookshelf filled with books, decor, and other collections can not only create a physical boundary but also become a decorative divider.

Designate an at-home workspace

Rolling out of bed and starting work in pyjamas may seem convenient. However, this may decrease sleep quality, which reduces energy levels and hurts work productivity.

Maintaining boundaries is key to work-life balance, especially when working from home. This requires having an established workspace.

Setting up a home office designed for productivity is ideal. But if space is a luxury, you may have to get creative in making the best use of the available space.

Even a kitchen counter or a dining table can double as an office table. If you’re willing to splurge, consider transforming the tiny space under your stairs or a dingy closet into a workspace with help from a draftsman or a designer.

Create quiet areas

Establishing a routine around your work schedule can address the lack of structure when working from home. This can help preserve your mental energy on mundane tasks and enhance your focus on more complex tasks.

Routines can be anything from starting your morning with a cup of coffee to ending your day with a reflective journal. These habits are best done in quiet areas that promote relaxation. For this reason, make spaces dedicated to pre- or post-work unwinding, like a breakfast nook.

Dedicate spaces for socialisation

Attending virtual meetings technically counts as socialising. Still, nothing beats being fully present with your friends and family and simply living in the moment.

This is where thoughtful home design comes into play. To improve your work-life balance and stay connected to your loved ones (without any mediating technology), create spaces for socialisation within your home.

An inviting dining room or a mini bar can encourage you to make time for your social life. This space can also give you something to look forward to after an exhausting workday.

Invest in an outdoor living space

Rest is productive, so prioritise planning your downtime. If you have to, block breaks out in your calendar. Make them a non-negotiable as part of your conscious effort to improve your work-life balance.

These rest periods should be restorative and meaningful. So instead of scrolling on social media during your downtime, consider going on “backyard getaways.” Turning your yard into a cosy space is achievable with a deck, hammock, and outdoor lighting.

Growing an indoor garden is a great alternative if you don’t have an outdoor space. Surrounding yourself with plants while working can help reduce your mental fatigue and boost your productivity by 15%.

Dedicate a space for workouts

Taking care of your health is vital, especially since working from home usually means living a more sedentary lifestyle. This is why you need to make time to work out just like you attend work meetings.

Improving your well-being and maintaining a work-life balance involves prioritisation and scheduling. This could mean choosing to exercise instead of binge-watching your favourite show after work.

Dedicating a space for workouts can also motivate you to exercise. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-blown home gym; a spare room with enough space for basic at-home exercise will do.

Cosy up your bedroom

Work-life balance and sleep create a self-perpetuating cycle.

Maintaining a work-life balance helps you sleep restfully. Similarly, consistently getting a good night’s sleep promotes a better balance between work and personal life. For this reason, make sleep a priority.

A relaxing sleeping environment is crucial for restful sleep. To make your bedroom as comfortable as possible, invest in a good mattress, incorporate natural materials, and opt for warm-coloured lamps.

Set your home up for a better work-life balance

Achieving a better work-life balance can be challenging, especially when you live where you work. Fortunately, separating your work life from your personal life is attainable with intentional home design. To start striking a balance between your work and personal space, follow the tips in this article.

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