Working from home is a dream for so many people. You increase your flexibility, cut your expenses, and are able to create the perfect workspace for your own individual needs. It can be a challenge to maintain balance in your life when your office is in your home, though. These tips will help you separate work and family and create a healthy balance between the two.
When I first started working from home it felt perfect. I’d given up a long commute and was able to be home with my baby instead of saying goodbye every morning.
I was living the dream for about 6 months.
Then, my cushy home-based job began taking over every waking moment of my life. I was working far longer than I needed to, simply because my office with RIGHT THERE. If a task needed to be done, it was easier to finish it right away than wait until the next day.
I had zero separation between work time and family time … and it was a problem.
I nearly burned out as a work at home mom because I didn’t set some boundaries. I’ve since learned the importance of creating balance when you work at home.
How to Create Balance While Working from Home
Create a Dedicated Workspace
I realize that not everyone has the space for a dedicated home office. Reframe your thinking. A dedicated workspace does not have to be a spare room, if you don’t have one available. Set up a workspace in a quiet corner of your basement or take advantage of a spare closet (there are lots of great ideas for using closets as offices on Pinterest). I’d think twice before putting your home office in your bedroom, because you need a place to step away from work at the end of the day, but I have known people who have made that work as well. Wherever your workspace is, make sure you have a little corner of your home that you can focus.
Set Consistent Work Hours
You may be lucky enough to be able to work a flexible schedule. Even if you have a flexible schedule, I’d recommend setting and keeping a set work schedule. This helps you train your brain to be ready for work and helps you maintain balance in the rest of your life.
On the flip side, when you are done working for the day be finished. Don’t go back to your desk and finish up “just one more thing”. If you worked in an office setting you’d leave non-urgent tasks until the following day.
Train your family to avoid interruptions during work time
This is a tricky one, especially if you have kids at home. Obviously, if there is an emergency or something major comes up interruptions are going to happen, but as a general rule, you need your work-time to be interruption-free. Some remote employees hang a sign up on their office door or at the entrance of their work-space reminding their family that they are working. If your kids are young, I’d highly recommend using childcare during your working hours. If you are working as a remote employee you will be expected to focus 100% of your time and attention on your job during work hours.
Take Weekends Off
Taking weekends to recharge and spend time with your family is so important. If you must work weekends, designate 2 days during the week as your “weekend” just as if you were working a non-traditional work schedule. You need that time to focus on other things and put down your work responsibilities.
Working from home is amazing and can give you a lot of flexibility. It can also cause you to lose focus on and turn into a workaholic since your office is easily accessible all the time. These tricks can help you maintain balance and help you enjoy working from home.
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