Remote working: how to separate the home from the office

04 January 2023

Pen

Remote working is by no means a new concept. Being able to work from a home office has improved the work-life balance of many employees, making it the preferred choice for many.

However, working remotely is not always easy, and it’s easy for the lines between your personal life and work life to become blurred when they are carried out at the same location.

In this article, we will look at why it’s essential to draw a distinct line between your home and work life, even when they happen in the same place and some tips for separating your home and work life when working remotely.

Why you need clear separation between your home and remote working space

Since the pandemic, the home has become more multi-purpose than ever before. For many, it became the classroom, the gym and the office as well as our home. Even as offices reopened, many employers and workers realised the benefits of remote working for everyone, and it continues to be a strong workplace trend.

However, whilst an employee should give their focus during working hours to their employer, it’s also essential to be able to step away and rest at the end of every day. Working remotely makes it all too easy to work overtime around the clock, almost without realising it.

Not giving yourself time to rest and recharge can increase stress and anxiety levels and lead to other mental health concerns. So how do we separate our remote working from our home life? Here are three strategies to help all remote workers define the line between the two.

Have a set routine

Do you find yourself rolling out of bed and straight into your office each morning to check emails? You may think you are being super efficient by doing so, but when you start work at 7 am before your breakfast or morning coffee, you can quickly put in 10 hours by the time 5 pm rolls around.

Do that five days a week, and you will find yourself experiencing burnout quickly. So before you go anywhere near your workstation, make sure you go through a morning routine. Get yourself ready as you would to go to the office, complete a workout and even get out of the house for some fresh air if you can, giving yourself a clear line between waking up and entering the virtual workplace.

Use your workspace only for work

If it’s possible for you to have a dedicated workspace such as a desk or, better yet, an office, make sure you only use it for that purpose. Set your space up for everything you need to work, so it’s ready for you to go whenever you need to work.

When you work at the dining table, you will find you are more easily distracted, and your work is more likely to creep into your personal time than it would if you have a dedicated workspace that you leave behind at the end of every day.

Set boundaries for communication

We’ve all been in a situation where we have needed to take a personal call at work or where we have needed to email a colleague in the evening regarding an urgent project, but when we work remotely, it’s easy for our boundaries of communication to slip. For example, if you find yourself constantly checking social media or texting your social group during work hours, think about how you would react at work. For instance, you could mute WhatsApp or only check Facebook on your designated breaks.

Additionally, once you log off at 5 pm from your workstation, don’t make a habit of checking emails or responding to colleagues. A workplace with a healthy culture will never expect employees to be constantly available and will respect your boundaries.

Whether you are new to working remotely, or have been doing so for some time, defining the balance between work and home life is incredibly important. Follow our tips above and make sure you make time for both work and your personal life wherever you are working from.

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