Working from home is both wonderful and challenging. It gives you the flexibility to work when it’s most convenient for you; however, it can also reduce the amount of social interactions you have outside of work. Working from home can bring many benefits such as increased productivity, reduced commute time and more independence, however, it doesn’t mean you should let go of your boundaries and restrictions there (or anywhere else in life). No matter how much we love our jobs or how much they provide us with opportunities and ways to grow as professionals, sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that needs doing. What does this mean for your boundaries?
Here are 5 ways you can set and maintain your boundaries when working from home.
Set Boundaries For Emails and Conversations
The first thing you might want to do is set boundaries for conversations. There are many reasons why we feel obliged to answer our phones and reply to emails when we’re working from home. For example, the person may be in a panic, asking for your advice or help. Most of the time, this isn’t necessary. Consider setting a strict email policy for yourself when working from home: no more than one email per day and no more than three emails in a week. This means that anyone reaching out to you will have to wait until the next day for you to check your email.
Create A Regular Schedule
One of the easiest ways to maintain your personal boundaries is to create a regular schedule. Another option is to set aside certain days each week where you can focus on your personal activities. It might be something like spending an hour on your blog or podcast, reading for an hour, or exercising for an hour. You could also create a rotational schedule where you take one day off from work each week and focus on doing what makes you feel good. If this means spending two days working and two days focusing on other things, then so be it! Whatever you choose, having both work and personal boundaries can help keep life running smoothly.
Take time to exercise regularly since working from home can become sedentary which is not good for your health. If you have pets, it may be easier to exercise with them than without them. Be sure not to overwork yourself either. It can be tempting to work off the stress of being busy but it can lead to burnout or worse instead of being helpful.
Eat Healthy, but Also Practice Certain Self-Care Activities
It’s important to practice self-care in order to maintain your health and well-being. Self-care is making time for yourself and taking care of yourself, which can be an especially great idea during long work hours. Some simple ways to practice self-care are: take a break every hour or so and get some fresh air, and eat foods that nourish your body and give you energy.
Don’t Work From Home Alone
Working from home can get lonely. If you live alone, it's especially important to connect with others. If you know anyone else who works from home, set certain days of the week where you work together in the same space. Don't know anyone else who works from home? Give a co-working space or a coffee shop a try.
You’re working from home, you have the flexibility to do what you want when you want, but as soon as you start, it’s not long before you find yourself with a pile of work on your desk. Without the boundaries of a traditional office, it can be difficult to maintain your health and sanity so be mindful of keeping a separation between work and home.