These days, many companies realize the perks and benefits of a remote workplace. While most employees are initially excited about this prospect, many soon see how quickly work and home life begin to mesh, and if you are not careful, then your job could take over your entire life.
Fortunately, we have some tips for how you can reduce your anxiety, shut off at the end of the workday, and create separate spaces for your work and family.
One of the biggest sources of anxiety is a lack of organization around the home. That is because, subconsciously, we feel like we are losing control of our environment and also our lives. If you let this stress get too far, then it can impact your home life and family time, so you need to avoid disorganization in the workspace to avoid these issues.
First, you need to create a productive workspace that allows you to stay protected and gives you the room to put everything in its place. Consider a desk that has plenty of storage space with drawers, shelves, and built-in filing cabinets, so you can find what you need within moments. While you are redecorating, place a few plants around the office and situate your desk near the window. Greenery and natural light are great for fighting stress and boosting your productivity.
In addition to having a space for everything, you should also avoid unnecessary clutter and get rid of things that have become unnecessary. It is a good idea to shred any physical paperwork that is no longer relevant. You can either purchase your own home paper shredder or call a mobile shredding truck and they will take the scraps with them.
It is important to find ways to organize your files and reports in your office. Avoid the desire to keep them in the living room, or you will never stop working.
Set Ground Rules
Now, you need to schedule your day accordingly so that you can “shut off” at the same time, consistently, every shift, leave your office, and go spend time with your family. When we work in a physical office, it is easier to leave at the same time every day because the lights start turning off, your coworkers begin to leave, and you realize that you have to drive home. The issue with remote work is that all you need to do is walk into the next room after your shift, so it is easier to say that you just want to accomplish one more task before you leave, and you could be there all night.
You must avoid that behavior by setting an alarm or creating a reminder on your computer that tells you when it is time to leave. Stop working at the same time every day, just like you would in the office. If necessary, speak to your manager and inform them of this new schedule and kindly ask not to be emailed or called past that time. Then, leave your office or workspace and leave your company phone behind. Resist the urge to look at it again until you return to your desk the next day.
It is important to lay the same ground rules down with your family. If you have children or other relatives living in the house, remind them of your working hours and the times when you should not be disturbed. If you don’t draw a line, then you could find yourself forgetting to complete your work as you spend more time outside of your office with your housemates. Of course, it is still important to get out of your office during breaks and lunches so you can have that important family time and clear your mind about the work ahead.
Separate Workspace And Entertaining Areas
As mentioned before, the best way to prevent your remote job from taking over your home life is to separate work and personal time as much as you can during working hours.
If it is possible, try not to set up your work area in the family room or living room. That way, you can avoid distractions like family and television during the day. It will also prevent you from spending time near your desk during your off-time. After all, if you are always near your desk, then you will always have the temptation to check work.
You should also make it a point to separate your work and home accounts. So, instead of having your work assignments and personal emails sent to the same location, create individual accounts so they don’t intersect and you don’t work during family time and vice versa.
Finally, if you have tried every tactic, but you still can’t separate your job from your home, then you may want to try leaving the house and working out of a coworking space. These are great establishments where you can still work remotely, but in an office-like environment where there are desks, office equipment, and even private spaces for an extra cost. A coworking space may be a good idea so you can focus on your projects without unnecessary distractions. Then, when you are done, drive home at the same time every day and spend the evening with your family.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can prevent your remote job from taking over your home life. Consider these tips, remember to maintain work/life balance, and you will survive as a remote employee.