Working from home is becoming a popular option for many people. It cuts out the commute and saves money for everyone involved. What's not to love about that?
However, just like anything working from home does have its pitfalls. It makes it a ton harder to separate your work life from your home life. Without getting out of the house, both sides of your life may start to interfere with one another. Here are a few ways in which you can keep a clear divide.
Work Out Of The Bedroom
Your bedroom should only be a space for relaxation and sleep. For many, this may seem very convenient. But using the same space for work and rest can make it challenging to switch off and unwind at the end of the day. You’ll notice you don’t get a whole night of restful sleep because you’re reminded of work tasks every time you momentarily glimpse at your workspace.
Have a separate room in your home that you can use purely as an office. Keep all your work gear here, including your phone and computer. This will prevent you from becoming lazy, reaching over for your laptop, and working from your bed.
Having a separate space for your work can not only help get you in the zone – but it also has tax benefits if you’re self-employed.
Don’t implement an open-door policy in your home office. There may be times when you have to look after children while working from home, but older children need to know the limits. For those over 5 years old, let them know that they can’t keep interrupting you and enforce designated work times in which they can’t disturb you.
Don’t put a TV in your office, and introduce a strict personal regime to tackle getting distracted by social media. There are software and apps that can actually limit social media use. These may be useful if you constantly wander absent-mindedly onto Twitter and Facebook during work hours.
Additionally, you may simply turn off your notifications so you can stay on task and only retain work-related ones. There are also productivity tools you can use to avoid distractions. Some of them are Pomodoro timers, website blockers, and time-tracking apps.
Consider A ‘Coffice’
It can be healthy to get out of the house now and again so that you’re not feeling trapped in the same four walls every day. Do you like Starbucks? One solution is to work from a coffee bar one day a week. This approach to working from home has coined the word ‘coffice’ and is a particularly great way of meeting clients so they don't have to come to your home address.
Of course, this environment may be too distracting for some intensive work, especially at peak times. Other places that you could consider working that are usually free include libraries, community centers, parks in the summer, and even Mcdonald's.
Working in a different environment can also spark creativity and productivity. More importantly, you wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation of taking naps when working at home.
It also reduces the isolation and loneliness that come with working alone. Even if you don’t know the people around you, they provide companionship. Even just brief eye contact with someone can get your nerves revving. What more if you strike up a conversation with them?
Use A Virtual Address
Revealing your home address to clients may put your privacy and professionalism at risk. One way to deal with this is to use a virtual office or virtual PO box.
Your mail will then be posted to a more official-looking address, at which point someone at that address will then forward it to you. This way, your personal address is protected.
Or, better yet, you may choose a mail forwarding service. If you want to learn how to forward mail to someone, you may read some reliable sites online about it.
Have A Separate Work Phone
If all your work emails and work phone calls are going through your cell phone or landline, you could find it hard to switch off from work in your free time and find yourself distracted by your social life in your work time.
Some companies will provide special work phones to their employees for free. If you’re self-employed, you may be able to find a special business phone package and deduct it from your taxes. You could also get a cloud phone number, allowing work-related calls to go through your PC.