[dropcap]Technology and wide access to affordable broadband Internet have made it possible for many of us to work from home a few times a week. Others can pursue remote positions with companies around the world![/dropcap]
Unfortunately, when you start telecommuting, it’s easy to fall into an “always-on” mindset. With work emails flooding your personal devices and your “office” just steps away, the boundary between your professional and personal worlds can start to blur. Establishing clear boundaries between your work and your home life is essential for your productivity and work-life balance.
Manage Your Time and Make a Schedule
One of the best aspects of working from home is the flexibility of your schedule, so many people never establish a day-to-day schedule. Unfortunately, without a regular routine, work can slowly start taking over your entire day.
Set a time to start, a time to have lunch have lunch and a time to finish for the day. We all have days that don’t go just as planned, but most days should follow a basic routine.
Define Your Workspace
Taking calls and typing on your laptop from the comfort of your couch sounds great, but when you work from home, it’s important to set clear physical boundaries between where you work and where you live.
Whether it’s a home office or just a desk in a corner, define your workspace. Choose one place that you can begin to associate with work. Stresses related to work will stay where they belong, and it will be easier to disengage from work when the day is over, contributing to an overall positive work-life balance.
Dress the Part
It can be tempting to just roll out of bed and work in your pajamas, but wearing business clothes puts you in the right mindset for work. In fact, a study published in Human Resource Development Quarterly suggests that an employee’s attire has a significant impact on his/her self-perceptions of productivity and creativity. Clearly, part of setting yourself up for success is looking the part.
Get Out and See Friends
It doesn’t take long to realize that working from home has one major downside: there are no coworkers — at least not in the traditional sense. Working on your own can be great for your focus and productivity, but it can also get lonely. Getting out of the house and hanging out with your friends can give you a sense of perspective and help you recharge.
Working from home is a great option for workers all over the world, but maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential to being productive and making sure that your work doesn’t take over your home life.