How to Set Healthy Boundaries Working from Home?

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How to Set Healthy Boundaries Working from Home?

Safe Milli
| December 01, 2020 Last Updated 2020-12-01T14:08:13Z

 Whether you have always worked from home, or whether this is a new thing because of the coronavirus and lockdown; when it comes to being productive outside of the office, there are certain things you need to do. From taking breaks often to ensuring you actually finish and walk away from work here are some great ideas to get you started.

Creating a Balance

Many people who work from home absolutely love the freedom it affords them; there are certainly perks to be had. From playing music you choose, to being able to make coffee whenever you feel like working from home has become popular and looks set to continue. But with this, there need to be some ground rules in order to ensure that you are creating a proper work-life balance and setting healthy boundaries for yourself that means you can be productive and still have a home life. 

Create an Office

Not everyone has enough space to create an entire room to work, and that is totally fine. But if you do not designate yourself an office space, you will find that work begins to creep into every area of your life. This, in turn, can lead to disorganisation as you take papers around the house wherever you go and also means that the rest of the family may not be so happy. So, it doesn't have to be a whole room but a designated space perhaps a corner of the kitchen or a desk in the bedroom.

Try and create an area that you will not use at any other time so psychologically every time you sit in your designated office chair you are going to work. For the rest of the week, you will not be sitting there. Remember that an office day is quite long and arduous on your back if you do not have a suitable chair. Standing desks have become popular, but if that is not for you just ensure you are offering your back an appropriate amount of support.

Define the Working Day

Of course, one of the benefits of working from home is that you don't necessarily need to be at your desk from 9 to 5. It does depend a little bit on your employer, but if you are the boss because you work on a freelance basis, your hours are entirely up to you. However, it would help if you created a schedule that gives an element of structure so that you know exactly what you were doing at any one time. For example, you may decide to walk your dog between 9 am, and 10 am and start work after that.

You may then choose to work until six rather than finishing at 5 pm because no one else is home from school, work or college. If your boss requires you to track your work, there are various spreadsheets and programmes available. It is vital that you do take a lunch break. Although you may not be able to go outside the house at the moment, this is an opportunity to stretch your legs and take a break. Make time to go into another room and leave the office room far behind. Catch up on social media, run up and down the stairs for exercise, and of course, be sure to get something to eat.

Set Goals

You should also set yourself some goals, and not necessarily work-related as you may expect. For example, it is very easy to forget to drink when you are not in the office. Part of social interaction around the water cooler means that you remember to make a cup of tea coffee or get a glass of water. There are plenty of apps that can help you track your water intake, or you can set a reminder on your phone to nudge you into getting yourself a drink. When you are not at work, on your days off, be sure to leave work alone. Have a designated work email address and don't check it at the weekend. You wouldn't if you were usually in the office, so don't let it become a habit of home working. If you are not paid to work weekends, don't work weekends!

Become a Work from Home Pro

The first tip in this section is to get dressed!  While it might be very tempting to simply get up, wander through in your pyjamas and sit down at your desk, you actually need to get dressed. While you won't need to put on your whole suit and tie, you should make a distinction between daytime and night-time. Many people do choose to work from home in leisurewear, and if you don't have any online meetings, then this is fine.

Remember that Zoom can see all, so if you're only going to smartly dress your top half for a critical meeting, make sure the camera can't see your pyjama bottoms! Finally, people who have worked from home for a long time will tell you that it is essential to find yourself a work from home community. These may be people you never meet but are around to chat with across the Internet. Very few people enjoy the solitary lifestyle, so while you might not be able to have a physical water cooler chat, you can indeed find other people in the same situation to meet virtually.
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