How to separate your work- and home-life

Man working in a home office

Working from a home office can offer more freedom and flexibility – but there’s also a risk of work overflowing into your home life.

Here are some tips on how to stop that from happening.

Ditching the office for remote working can help you get a better work/life balance. But you need to make a distinction between your home office and home life otherwise you might start to feel like you’re on-call 24/7.

1. Different rooms
While it’s tempting to work in the comfy living room or take your laptop to bed, if you’re serious about remote working you need to set up a home office that is solely used during work hours.

If you don’t have room for an office, find an area away from distractions that you don’t usually use during normal hours.

Alternatively, you can select a nearby, comfortable café in which to set up your “coffice”.

2. Switch off
Once your work day is done – turn everything off. Don’t just put your computer on sleep, but switch it off. The same goes for your work phone. In fact, turn off your home office lights, shut the door and walk away.

You can always check back later if you’re expecting an email or call but if not, it can wait until morning. Your evenings are your time to relax and enjoy yourself – so don’t let work infiltrate your headspace after 6pm!

Cozy workplace of freelance occupation person with portable computer coffee notepad located on wooden table in suburban cottage terrace

3. Change your clothes
While the days of office workers having to wear suits might be disappearing, people still have work and home clothes. The problem with working from home is that people don’t tend to make this distinction.

That means no PJ-workdays – there’s no need to go too formal, but dressing as if you want to make an impression helps get you in the productive mind-set. Plus, you’ll be set to answer any surprise Skype calls from clients.

Similarly, change your clothing at the end of the working day to create a mental divide between ‘work you’ and ‘home you’.

4. Leave the house
Avoiding the daily commute is one of the big benefits of working from home – but it doesn’t mean you have to spend all day indoors.

After work or on your lunch break, try and get outside for a bit. Pop to the shops, take a short walk, meet a pal for lunch, or meet a client face-to-face. Again, this helps you divide your day between work and home.

5. Let people know your working hours
It’s tempting to sleep in occasionally and catch up the hours later. But you really need to set yourself solid working hours, otherwise your working day will get longer and less structured.

You’ll also find you’re more productive and focussed if you have set hours.

Finally, make sure your colleagues know your office hours. A good way to do this is to use signing in and signing out emails.


Posted by The Secret Businessman