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Finding Work Life Balance When Working From Home

Work life balance is always a tricky thing to achieve and now with most people working from home due to COVID-19, juggling home life, kids, and zoom meetings, it’s even more challenging than before. When your home suddenly becomes your place of work, the lines between the two can easily blur. Everyone’s definition of work life balance is different, so we’ve turned to our teams to find out what is working for them and how they are managing their days in a healthy, positive way. Each week we will be highlighting a member of our team and their work life routines as a way to help others who may be in similar situations.

4/21/2020 – Mike Martinez, VP of Sales at Keen.io

Mike has worked as the Vice President of Sales at Keen since 2019. He is the proud father of three boys, Michael (11), Marcus (10), and Matthew (5). In the weeks since Keen has implemented its work from home policy, Mike has had the opportunity to find his balance of working from home and homeschooling his boys and wanted to share a few tips to help you.

“It’s been a month since we began working from home and I have definitely learned a ton and feel like I am starting to get the hang of the new work life balance.”

Here are my tips and tricks to help you manage WFH while also trying to be an effective teacher for your kids:

  • Wake up and get ready. It’s important to look like you are ready for the day and not like you just rolled out of bed. For Zoom, make sure the light is on your face, and not behind you. Good lighting always makes it easier for others to see you and makes you look refreshed. If you have a really important call, let the kids know and make sure they know not to be disruptive.
  • Have a schedule that works for you! That is my number one rule. In the beginning, I would stick to traditional bedtimes for the kids and make sure they got up on time. I found that this actually made it harder for me to start my workday and also made it harder for my kids to focus on their school work. Now they go to bed a little later and wake up later, which actually helps me get through my morning calls and tasks more effectively. I usually help them start schoolwork during my lunch break and get them set up to work unassisted after lunch. Another thing that works for us is anything that requires assistance can wait until after 5pm. We work on having good attitudes and a good vibe throughout the day. Also, finishing a week’s worth of school by Wednesday really helps the second half of the week go really smoothly and reduces everyone’s stress for Thurs-Sunday.
  • Exercise! Setting the kids up with school from 5-6 pm really leaves a nice window from 6-7 pm to knock out a workout. Most workouts only take 30-45 min, so you have time to knock it out, and then prepare dinner for the family.
  • Netflix and Chill, maybe not! With all of the craze about several shows right now, I highly recommend not getting stuck to the TV watching Netflix all day. Limit yourself to 2 episodes or 2 hours max in one sitting. This helps to make sure you are knocking out the daily chores as well.
  • Lastly, you will notice that your weekends are long! So enjoy them, rest and relax. Take your kids for walks and remember, you have all day to focus on chores that were not finished during the week.

4/28/2020 – Małgorzata Felis, UX/UI Designer at Keen.io

Małgorzata (Gosia) joined the Keen team in 2019 as a UX/UI designer. She is part of our amazing team in Kraków, Poland. Gosia loves being active and for a decade she has exercised a few times a week, rarely at home. The transition to working from home has been a smooth transition or Gosia, but she says she does struggle to find the motivation to be active. Overcoming the challenges we are all facing can be difficult, but Gosia is sharing her best tips for working from home and staying healthy, safe, and positive.

Working from home has been a relatively easy transition for me. I follow my everyday routine which is very similar to my day in the office. Personally, my main challenge is the lack of contact with people and limited physical activities.

Thanks to the tools that we have – conference platforms, chats, screen sharing, online boards – it is really easy to simulate office life at Keen. My WFH advice would be:

  • Use the tools you have available and talk to your team as much as possible. Share some jokes, talk about daily stuff as you used to when you were together. Keep in touch and take care of each other. When you are stuck with something, call a colleague. When you have a feeling that somebody is down, ask if there is anything you can do to cheer them up. Sometimes a two-minute conversation can solve a problem and a joke can boost motivation.
  • Stand up as much as possible. When we work from home our movement is quite limited. In the office, when we need to discuss something we often stand in front of the whiteboard or go to the conference room. We also commute. This means walking, standing on the bus, riding a bike, or whatever your traditional commute looks like. At home, the process is much simpler. We can start working right after having breakfast. Therefore, I try to remember to stand up as much as possible ((habit still in progress). I straighten my legs during coffee breaks or when I have a meeting. I also have the standing desk at home, so I also work in a standing position from time to time. If you have a small coffee table at home, you can always put it on your desk and make the standing desk too.
  • Exercise is very important. I am rather an active person but right now, when we are closed in our homes it is hard to get motivated to move around. Sometimes you have to get creative, Even fifteen minutes of simple stretching can help our bodies to relax. Exercising regularly helps to keep a positive mindset.
  • If you do not have a proper office chair at home, put the pillow behind your back to avoid back pain.

This blog is part of an ongoing series and will be updated weekly.