There was a time when you left the office, you also left your work behind. But with every passing day, the separation between work life and home life has thinned. Now, thanks to Covid, that line is thinner than ever, as more of America’s labor force works from home.
If you are working remotely, make sure you still find ways to separate yourself from your job. Here are four tips to help make sure you are leaving the office at the end of your at-home workday.
Have a designated work space
One of the best ways to help keep your work life and personal life separate while working remotely is to have a designated at-home work space. Ideally, you have a spare room or a desk in your bedroom or living room that you can set aside as your “office”. When you are done at the end of the day and leave your home “office” you can mimic the feeling of leaving your workplace. Conversely, if you always work from the couch or kitchen table, you will have that “at work” feeling even when you have signed off for the day.
Set a structured schedule
One thing many have noticed is that because they are home, they may take more frequent breaks or succumb to the distractions. As a result, productivity slips and they find themselves working much later than normal. To fight this, stick to a structured schedule just as you would at the office. Have a consistent, and definitive start and end time to your day.
Boundaries go hand-in-hand with having a structured schedule. With advancements in technology and mobile devices, there exists now an expectation that you should always be able to reach someone. Now that people are working from home, personal hours and work hours have blended. While each profession is different, set boundaries if you can and help your co-workers understand that they can reach you during work hours, but outside of that time is reserved for you. Be sure to stick to your rule and not send things like late-night emails. This will only signal “always available” and remove those boundaries.
It can be tempting to wash the dishes while on a conference call or have the television on while building a slide deck. These little distractions pile up and can kill your productivity. That means a longer workday. Rather than mixing chores and work, set aside small breaks throughout the day where you can tidy up. Then when the break is over, switch back to work mode.
Bonus: Take a vacation
Take a COVID-19 vacation to prevent burning yourself out while working from home. While travelling is certainly now more difficult, that does not mean you cannot take time off. Vacations are just as much about relaxing as they are about sightseeing, do not forget to take care of yourself.
Looking for a new role? See who is hiring: