How to create boundaries when you’re working from home
One of the toughest aspects of working from home is how to ensure that your work life and your home life don’t bleed into one. Having effective boundaries is important as it means the stresses of work don’t colour that all-important family time. Likewise, it can also help ensure the everyday problems of domestic life don’t affect your professional productivity. Here are a few ways you can create clear boundaries in your life while working from home: Defined spaces It’s important to provide yourself with a clearly defined working space that’s as separate as possible from the recreational areas of your home. If you have a larger house, this might be a dedicated office or a desk in a spare room, but even if you live in a tiny flat or a house-share, you should try to dedicate at least a small corner as ‘office space’. This way, you’ll be less tempted by TV shows, magazines or computer games during work hours. Better still, when you’re not working, you can mentally leave all the stresses and pressures of work siloed in that corner, on your desk or in your office. Clear schedules and routines With a traditional office job, your schedule is often defined by specific hours or the timetable of public transport. With remote working, it’s easier to slip into starting early or working late. That’s why you need a schedule: it’s proven that workers who have defined office hours and take proper breaks are more productive. So you’ll get more done, in less time, and feel fresher at the end of the day. Faux-commuting and exercise It sounds strange, but one of the biggest challenges faced by the ‘WFH’ brigade is a lack of exercise. This is because that walk to the station, or even from the office car park to your desk, is a heck of a lot further than from your bedroom to your kitchen. One way around this is to do a ‘faux-commute’. In other words, you take some form of exercise – whether walking, cycling or running – at the beginning and the end of your working day, just when an office worker would be commuting. This has the double benefit of adding structure to your day and providing an opportunity for exercise.