Working remotely from home or another location has become the norm for many professionals. The ability to set one’s own hours and avoid lengthy commutes can be quite a boon to productivity. Business owners also may find they can reduce overhead costs by not keeping a static office location.
Those who work exclusively from home may find it challenging to separate their work from family life and vice versa. While there is bound to be some overlap, the following strategies can help remote workers deftly manage their responsibilities to their employers and their families.
Establish a clear-cut workspace
Working at the dining room table or in the bedroom may seem convenient, but these places are full of distractions, whether workers realize that or not. Plus they may cause the mind to wander, as they’re usually associated with other tasks, like eating or lounging. Creating a specific work-only area is a great way to stay on target and maintain focus.
Build in break times
Treat working at home as you would working in an office. Schedule breaks to get up and run errands, eat lunch away from your desk, take a breather to soak up some sunlight, or engage in a brief conversation with a friend.
Turn a blind eye to distractions
Is the laundry piling up? Does the dog need a walk? What about that grocery list? Home life distractions and needs can slowly creep into your work realm if you let them. If you’re meant to be putting in hours, resist the urge to do household chores. Instead, wait for break times to handle such tasks. Remember, if you wouldn’t be doing it in an office setting, you shouldn’t be doing it while working remotely.
Maintain a consistent schedule
Working from home affords workers the chance to make a doctor’s appointment or pick up a sick child sick from school. But it’s easier to get into work mode and then disengage from work mode if you have a relatively consistent schedule. A schedule also makes it easier for coworkers and clients to know when they can get in touch with you — and when it’s family time.
Finding the balance between work and home life when your home is your place of employment can be tricky. But practice makes perfect.