When you work from home, many things are easier. No commute, no special wardrobe, no workplace politics—or at least less than the typical office. But there are things that are more difficult. Top of the list is finding a work-life balance. Here are a few tips for finding balance that I hope will help.
Why is this harder when you work from home? Because work is at home 24/7. Your sanctuary and your office are the same place, and getting away from one to provide the needed attention to the other can be a battle.
But it can be done. Below are a few tips for finding balance when working from home.
Yes, a change of scenery can be nice, but if you let work invade other areas of your home, you make it harder to walk away from work when you need to. As tempting as it may be to work on the couch, don’t. Stick to the office so you can shut the door when you are done.
When you work in an office, you sit a lot, but you still tend to get moving more than when you work from home. In an office, you walk to the printer, to the lunch room, to the bathroom, etc, and it is almost always a greater distance than you would travel in your own home. Sitting too much puts you in a funk, so get out of it by moving throughout the day. Check out SWORKIT apps, which allow you to get in workouts as short as 5 minutes a piece.
No eating at your desk. Set up in the dining room, a breakfast nook, or just at the kitchen counter, but get out of the office. And try to make it a standing date with someone else who works or stays at home by chatting over FaceTime or the app of your choice.
This may be a professional development day when the kids are off school to do things as a family, or maybe a day just for you. Most work-at-home positions give you this flexibility, so take advantage of it when possible.
Finally, don’t allow work to take over. Set your hours so that you do not let your work bleed into family time. Even if you need some flexibility, find a way to schedule things so that you never sacrifice what is important for your job.