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Blurred lines: how do you separate work from your personal life now that you’re working from home?

Working from home has some amazing perks, but if you’ve been doing it for some time, you might be starting to notice some of the downsides too.

One of the biggest pain points is the ability to draw the line between your work day and home life. If you find that line beginning to blur, here are some tips to help you redraw it.

1. Create a specific space for work … and remember to leave it

Having a dedicated work area is an essential. It allows you to physically step away at the end of the work day and switch off. A home office with a door is ideal, but if this isn’t possible, aim for a corner of a room you can section off as your work zone.

While stepping away after work is imperative, so is taking regular breaks. It’s all too easy to fall down a rabbit hole coding or meeting-jumping, and find you haven’t moved all day. Make the effort to go outside for some fresh air or chat with a family member or housemate, connecting just like you would in the office.

Extra tip: if you haven’t already, invest in an ergonomic desk chair. This one piece of office equipment can help you physically shift from a home mindset to a work one (plus your back will thank you).

2. Set your work hours and stick to them

When working from home, it’s tempting to sign on earlier than you normally would, thinking you can finish early and get in some ‘me-time’.

But how many times have you logged on at 7am for a quick email check, and then find yourself still at it come 6pm – some 11 hours later?

Sticking to set work hours is imperative to help you strike a healthy balance between home and work life. Spend the extra time you have in the morning not having to commute with yourself. It may be a brisk morning walk with your favourite podcast playing, or simply enjoying a morning routine of a warm mug of tea or coffee and a full breakfast.

Extra tip: when it’s time to start work, don’t automatically log into your chat client. Give yourself 15 minutes to get into the right headspace for your day, before you let that messaging system overrun you.

3. Advise others when your ‘do not disturb’ sign is on

If you have housemates or family who aren’t used to having you home during the day, it’s worth having the ‘do not disturb’ conversation.

Share your work hours with them and let them know they shouldn’t interrupt during those times. If you’re comfortable, you could even hang an ‘at work’ sign on your door, or on the back of your chair and laptop/computer, as a tangible reminder.

4. Change out of your sleepwear

One of the biggest advantages of remote work is you can easily do it in your pyjamas. But that doesn’t mean you should.

Rolling out of bed and straight into work puts you on the fast track to blurring your home – work line. Make an effort to change into an outfit you wouldn’t normally sleep in but is still comfortable, or something more appropriate if video calls demand it.

Those are four tips to help you create a clear divide between work and play when remote working. If you’d like more work from home tips for your team or yourself, please let us know.


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