7 tips for achieving work-life balance when you work from home
When your office is in your home, it can be difficult to separate the professional from the personal. Ideally, your workspace has a door you can shut at the end of the day, allowing you to leave as you would from a traditional office. It’s largely up to you, though, to maintain boundaries. The following tips and tricks can help.
1. Establish working hours. Depending on your line of business this may be challenging, but try to set some fixed office hours. They can still be flexible or unorthodox, but you really try to stick to them. If it helps, set a recurring reminder on your phone or set an alarm to keep track of them. Also, communicate your hours to your colleagues, friends and family, in the hope that they, too, will respect and adhere to the boundaries you’ve set.
2. Switch off, at least sometimes. When you’re not working, set aside blocks of ‘you time’ when you don’t check emails or answer your phone. This can be very liberating!
3. Make plans outside your work hours with family and friends – and honour those commitments.
4. Take public holidays, personal holidays and sick days. If your finances allow, one approach is to try to set up a business plan that works to a 44-week year, giving yourself four weeks of annual leave, 10 sick days and 10 public holidays – much like you’d have with a traditional office job.
5. Use your home office for work purposes only.
6. Deal with home-based distractions, such as housework, outside your working hours.
7. During the work day, get outside once in a while. You don’t want to get cabin fever, and besides, isn’t one of the reasons you wanted a home office, the freedom it affords?