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Remote Working How to Use a Home Office So Work Doesn’t Take Over Your Life

Working from home can be a relief in many ways. Living in the comfort of a managed community, you can stay home your pajamas all day and still get your work done, and you don’t need to deal with the tedious morning commute. But even with these perks, remote working can get overwhelming because, well, your office is right there. Without the right rules and ideas, you could quickly spiral into the toxic cycle of working round the clock. So, if you work remotely, here’s how you can use your home office so your work doesn’t take over your life.

Set Clear Physical Boundaries for your Home Office Space

Defining the boundaries of your office space can help you strike a better work-life balance. If you have a spare room at home, it’s best to use that space as your working area. Set it up in a way that works best for you. You don’t always need to go for the corporate setup, with the revolving chair and the workstation. If you prefer a standing desk, it can be a great way to make your office space a place where you’re physically engaged, and have a really distinctive way of being in the space. Keep your work devices and accessories in that space, and make sure they don’t find their way to the rest of your home.

Mimic an Office Schedule in Your Home Office

If you work from home, you’re free to take your lunch hours or coffee breaks whenever you want to. This can often prove to be a disadvantage, because many remote workers fall prey to the trap of a working lunch break, or starting early and working late, because the work is always right there, close at hand. To avoid this, ensure that you get out of your home office during lunchtime, and take a whole hour off if you can. Also, throw in a couple of coffee breaks, just like you would on a typical corporate office schedule. And if possible, fake a commute each morning and take a walk around the block before you sit down to work; give yourself physical cues for when work starts, and when it ends.

Put Together a ‘Work Wardrobe’

Yes, you have the luxury of working in your pajamas or yoga pants – but there can be a lot of upside to using your wardrobe as another way of reminding yourself that you’re at work. Rather than working either in pajamas or formal office-style clothing, choose outfits that are comfortable, but which you only wear when you’re at work, during the day, and get changed when you leave your home office or work area. This can help you avoid the habit of starting work almost right after you wake up, with no change.

Don’t Bring Your Home Office Work Home

This might be the most important rule to help you maintain a comfortable work-life balance. Set a deadline, and once you’ve worked the required number of hours for the day (or completed your work), turn off your computer and leave all work-related items in your home office. It can be tempting to check your email or work on a quick task even after your working hours. But it’s best to resist this urge and leave your work in your office. Quit or mute the work apps on your phone, if you use them.
Following these simple rules can help you make the most of your home office, without giving into the burden of having your work take over your life!