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How to properly switch off from (home) office life

By Rachel Wallace

For many office workers, working from home has become the new norm of post-pandemic life. Learning how to switch off from work is more important than ever before.

Struggling to manage the working from home-life balance? Here are some helpful tips on how to live a well-rounded, connected life from the home.

Commit to a fixed schedule

Switching off from work mode is not as simple when you work from home, but with the right systems in place it can be done. Start by setting a solid schedule.

A fixed schedule clearly separates your work time from personal time. Sticking to regular office hours while working from home — or creating a custom timetable — will prevent falling into the trap of blurring the lines between work and relaxation.

Most people get their best work done in the morning, so it’s best to take advantage of this. If you start late you are more likely to finish late, which means less free time to relax and unwind after work.

Exit your work space

Stepping away from the space you were working in when you’ve finished for the day, even if just for an hour or so, is a great way for your brain to switch off from work.

This is easy to do when you have a defined room in your home used as a designated office, but perhaps a little trickier if you live in a studio or one-bedder.

The key to making your home work as an office is to clearly define areas for work and relaxation.

If the latter is the case, just stepping away from your dining-table-turned-desk and going to your bedroom, balcony or another part of the home for a brief period can help. Or it could even be as simple as packing up your laptop and putting it somewhere out of sight.

Turn off your notifications or devices

How can you ‘switch off’ if you don’t literally switch off? Turning off or pausing your work apps and devices will allow your brain to metaphorically turn off too — particularly for those who work in communication-heavy or digital-focused roles.

Optus has made it even easier to achieve this with their Australian-first innovation, Optus Pause, which allows you to pause both your mobile and home connectivity across your devices.

It’s a simple solution for switching off from work; easy to set up, with just a tap you can control your eligible Optus mobile and home WiFi connections, in one place, straight from the My Optus app.

Clive Dickens, Vice President of TV, Content & Product Development at Optus says connectivity is a positive force in our lives, but can lead to distractions from the important stuff.

“Sometimes our love of staying connected 24/7 can create distractions for ourselves, our families, our friends, our work colleagues,” Clive says.

“Optus Pause empowers our customers to balance their connected time so a face to face business meeting can be social-media-update-free or family dinner time can be about the conversation not missed snaps, or sleep time can be absent ‘pings’.”

Ensure your notifications are only going off during business hours to make hybrid working sustainable.

Change your clothes

You may not wear a uniform, but an important way to signal to yourself that you are done with work for the day is to change your clothes.

In order for this to work, your work-from-home attire needs to be at least semi-professional in the first place (sorry, best to ditch the pyjamas until it’s clocking-off time).

Do some exercise

When you’ve finished for the day and exited your work space, get outside and move your body — it’s the best way to get out of your head.

Switch off from your brain the way nature intended!

Exercise is not only physically beneficial, it also helps divert the mind from the source of its anxiety (that is, your stack of work tasks).

Something as simple as going for a 30-minute walk will help your brain to organise your thoughts properly and put you in the right frame of mind to tackle the next work day.


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