Ways To Prioritize Your Professional & Personal Well-Being In Your WFH Space

As more and more of us settle into remote jobs, we are likely to experience many of the vast benefits the setup brings: comfy attire, reduced social anxiety, sharper focus, and ultimately, a better work-life balance. Of course, it can also be easy for work and life to become enmeshed, so if this is the case for you, it may be time to establish some boundaries in your work-from-home space — or at least, make some small tweaks.


When your home is also your office, it's key to make a conscious effort to nurture yourself and maintain separation between your work day and personal life. The increased flexibility of remote work can offer some help — many people are able to adjust their hours to fit their lifestyle, be at home with their children while working, or even live a less rooted lifestyle, traveling part-time. But the blurring of spatial boundaries can also make it harder to step away from work, which is a fast track to burnout. To keep yourself balanced, try setting up your work-from-home space to address both your professional and personal well-being — using strategies like these.

Set up a designated workspace

If you work remotely, you may have fallen victim to the habit of working from bed or stationing yourself on the couch. But this blending of living spaces with workspaces may be contributing to feelings of overwhelm in your life-work balance. Creating a designated workspace in your home, whether it's an entire office or simply a corner of the dining room, can work wonders for your well-being.


Again, you don't have to have an entire spare room to work as efficiently as possible — even a small desk stationed in front of a window in your living room will do the trick. The idea here is that your designated workspace is only for work; you don't hang out here once you're done working for the day. It's not a space for meals, hobbies, or anything else. Make an effort to keep your desk clear of non-work-related items. We know how easy it is for a surface to suddenly pile up with a random assortment of household objects — particularly if you have kids — but simply make it clear that your desk is for work only. Having that clearly delineated space can make it easier both to focus when you're working and to leave your work alone when you're off the clock.


Personalize your desk

While you already get to enjoy the comforts of your home when you work remotely, personalizing your home desk — just like you would at the office — can help you get into your workflow more seamlessly. Customize your space with photos, art, plants, a fun keyboard, noise-canceling headphones, a heating pad, your favorite water bottle and coffee mug, crystals, rosewater spritz, chapstick, fidget toys — whatever allows you to focus on your work should be prioritized.


And don't think that ergonomics should take a backseat just because you're not in the office. Proper lighting can help you tune in to your work day, so if you prefer natural light, make sure to station yourself near a window. If you need bright overhead lights to wake you up, be sure that's how your workspace is set up. Or perhaps you prefer a dimmer switch along with some calming salt lamps at your workstation — do your best to make it happen. If you work longer hours, the chair you're sitting in is also pretty important for your physical health and posture. Make sure you're using a chair that supports your body.

Take joybreaks and move your body

If you haven't heard of taking joybreaks to prevent burnout, it's pretty straightforward — you just need to take small breaks in your WFH day to do something that brings you joy. This could be drawing for a few minutes, picking up the guitar, cuddling with a pet, or even facetiming a friend. The idea is to rejuvenate yourself and regain some energy so you're able to focus better during the rest of your WFH day. In the office, you might have settled for getting up for coffee or chatting at the watercooler, but at home, you have a choice of far more activities to refresh yourself before getting back to work.


You might take that time for a short walk or workout session — after all, prioritizing physical movement is as important when working a desk job at home as it is in an office. You may already start your day with a walk before clocking in for work, but it's wise to keep up the habit and take breaks to get some steps in throughout your shift too, even if it's a quick jaunt around the block. Keeping a yoga mat next to your desk and stretching a few times throughout the workday is another great avenue to avoiding neck and back pain from sitting at a screen for multiple hours.

Actually clock out

A common woe of working from home is the pressing feeling that you could or should be working all the time. Whether or not you have set hours for your job, make sure you are shutting down your workspace when you are, in fact, done for the day. Close your laptop, clear any mugs off your desk, shut off the lights, and walk away from your workspace. By taking these small actions, you are signaling to your mind that the workday is concluded and it's time to focus on other things — ruminating about work can be saved for when you're on the clock.


If you remember later that you spaced on an email or task, ask yourself if it can be left for the following morning and set yourself a reminder if needed. If you worked in an office and you'd normally have to wait until the next day to catch up on what you forgot, try to leave it until your next shift. This can be tricky, but it's important for your personal and professional well-being to have boundaries like these in place. When you treat your off-time like your off-time, not only will you be better able to relax, but you'll also give your mind the break it needs to come back to work fresh next time.

Make plans for after work hours

Lastly, making sure you're utilizing your off-time the best way you can will help create a healthy balance in your day. If you do need some time to unwind and do nothing on the couch for a while after clocking out, then do so. But getting out of the same environment you see during your workday may give you the variety you need to beat that post-work fatigue, so start scheduling fun, fulfilling activities in your free time to create further definition between your work life and personal life.


Whether it's dinner with friends, working out at the gym, hiking, or a trip to the bookstore, try to fill a few of your evening slots with something that is very clearly not work-related and that you wouldn't normally do during a mid-workday break — especially if you're taking a few of those at your workspace. If you work at a screen, try to make sure your leisurely activities aren't also done at a screen. Give your mind and body a chance to interact with the real world and have face-to-face conversations, ideally in some fresh air and sunlight.