Whether or not there’s a global pandemic that’s forcing people to work from home, the number of people who are staying in their apartments or houses to finish all of their work is rising each year. Remote work has become simpler while justifying the trips to the office for certain tasks is becoming more difficult. When you’re working from home, though, it can be hard to separate your work life and your home life.
If you’re one of the many who are struggling, don’t worry. Here are a few tips that will help you set boundaries so that there’s a balance in your life instead of one work-life blur that can negatively affect your mental health.
Take breaks outside of your workspace
Working from home can be a dream, so you may start to feel a bit stir-crazy being in the same environment every day. To alleviate that feeling, it’s important to get out of the house or change your scenery during break times. Get as much fresh air, movement, and nourishment, as you can during your break and after work hours. Even something as simple as treating yourself to a nice dinner, binge-watching a show, and relaxing on the couch in your pajamas is beneficial to your mental health and will help you separate yourself from your work.
Separate your work area from the rest of your home
The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” rings true for this tip. Sometimes it’s difficult to turn your work brain off, even when you work outside of the home. Making separating your workspace from the rest of your home even more important whilst working from home. Try designating a particular room, or section of your home strictly for work. Make it a comfortable area where you have space to function, and feel at ease, but can remain focused. Last, but not least, do your best to only visit your workspace during work hours.
Stick to regular work hours
Working at home, the hours tend to blend together. That can result in difficulty separating work hours from downtime. As previously mentioned, physically separating your workspace from your home space can help create that healthy divide between work life and home life. It’s also important to hold strict boundaries when it comes to your work hours. Set alarms and leave yourself reminders for when it’s time to start work, what time to take breaks, and to notify you when your shift is over. Leave your workspace during break times, and the end of your shift, so you’re not tempted to do extra work when you’re not on the clock.
Treat your workspace like you would in the office
The benefits of working from home are substantial for most employees. Though, adding an office-like touch to your workspace can help you feel more focused and aid in mentally separating your workspace from the rest of your home. The general consensus is that most employees don’t miss going to the office, so you don’t have to go all in on making your workspace feel authentic. Try adding small, professional touches like working at your desk, using an office chair, getting yourself ready for work as if you were going into the office, and decorating your workspace with a little office flare.
Don’t talk about work outside of work
This tip can be helpful regardless if you work from home, or in a standard work environment. It’s still helpful nonetheless and makes it easier to keep your work life and home life from intertwining. Get into a different headspace in your off time and gently remind those around you to avoid conversations about work, unless you’ve initiated them.