Finding a successful work-home balance is hard enough without taking your work home with you. When you work from home, not only are there constant distractions — but it often feels like you can’t ever escape the work you have. Here’s what you need to know about keeping a good work-home balance even when they’re the same place.
1. Keep to Your Office Hours
It’s easy to think that you can “work when you want” when working from home. But that’s usually more to your detriment than anything else. When you “work when you want” you often find that you’re working more than you otherwise should. Keep to those office hours and you’ll be more productive and you’ll really feel like you have “off” time again.
2. Make Your Office Hours Clear
An add-on to the above is that you need to make sure your housemates understand when your office hours are. People often think that you aren’t working when you’re at home; they can come in and ask if you want lunch and throw your entire groove off. Put a sign up when you’re working and make it clear that you shouldn’t be bothered when you are.
3. Be Strict About Your “You” Time
Today, people are frequently seeing their office time intrude upon their home life. You don’t need to be checking emails at 10 PM. You don’t need to be answering a work-related call with your family. Make sure your office knows when you need time for you. It’ll only make you a better employee in the long run.
4. Keep It Separated
When working from home without notice, many people set up impromptu “battle stations” in dining rooms, living rooms, and other shared spaces. Long-term, that’s not a good solution. Make sure you have an office, even if it means you need to cordon yourself off in your bedroom. You don’t want your work staring directly at you when you’re trying to relax.
5. Reframe and Reassess
Finally, what’s more important than some analytics? Make some time every week to consider whether you’re meeting your goals, whether they’re personal ones or career ones. If you’re not, ask yourself why. If there’s simply not enough time in the day, you may just be asking too much of yourself. If there’s adequate time but you find yourself spinning your wheels, it might be time to take another look at your distractions.
It’s normal to struggle a little with work-life balance when you’re working from home. Don’t be afraid to reach out to resources, discuss it with your superiors, and talk to your family. With time, you can find that working from home is often far more beneficial when it comes to saving time and improving productivity.