Working from home can be really enjoyable, but there is always the danger of turning our entire home into a workplace, thus losing the sense of our personal private moments with ourselves and our family. 

By Mia Kollia

Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos

#business #society #workplace #workfromhome

A healthy balance between work and all our other activities (family, partners, friends, rest, fun, sleep) is necessary to be able to perform well at work and also live a full, enjoyable life.

Achieving this balance is often difficult, but separating work at home and life at home is something we can and should do!

Our Home and us

First of all, it’s important to understand why it is worth working so hard to create the ideal conditions for work and life. Approaching work as a 24/7 thing isn’t healthy. Such a treatment can create sleep problems, make us irritable, negatively affect relationships with our family and friends and can certainly lead to burnout. We must make sure we have time for rest, fun, contact with people, so that we have reserves of energy to deal with work properly.

Our home is associated in our minds with rest. Working from home is a fairly recent trend and it makes sense that we need some time to get used to the new conditions. We tend to associate work with an office or with everything else outside of home. Thus, it is important to be able to create a separate work space within our home so that our minds can rest in the feeling of home.   

In addition, separating work from home life is also extremely important for our interpersonal relationships. Our partner or family, but also our friends, need to know that we make time for them. If, for example, we spend our time glued to our cell phone or computer, it’s difficult to show our interest.

So how can we maintain a balance between work at home and life at home?

Coordination of schedule

It makes sense to try to structure our schedule in such a way that it coincides with the hours that our spouses and friends work.

If the time we are deeply focused on our work is the time when the people around us are resting or having fun, then we will have great difficulty being productive at work and we will also miss the opportunity to spend time with the people we love.

So we make sure to work when the kids are at school or when our partner and friends are working. In this way, we will boost our performance, we will be able to have a beautiful atmosphere at home and social life and we will also strengthen our interpersonal relationships.

work from home 2

Strict time of finishing work

When working from home, it's very easy to get carried away and work much longer than necessary.

It is necessary to create a schedule with a strict time for completing the work. For those who work alongside an "existing office", this becomes easier, as they follow the end time of the working day set by the job itself. But if we are freelancing and/or have our own business, then we need to set a limit that we won’t cross.

A repeatable, clear schedule helps us to be more focused when needed. It also helps our body to integrate this program and so we unconsciously get used to balance between work and rest at home.

A "smart" time divider

Much negative has been said about the everyday routine, but it can be useful. Adopting a practice that we repeat every day after our work is done is a key decision that we can make.

Working from home blurs the lines between work and personal time. We can resist this tendency by creating a healthy practice that acts as a dividing line between these two parts of our day. A walk with our family or our dog, or even tidying up our work space are all legitimate and effective practices.

In fact, which practice we follow isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is to be consistent in applying our chosen practice daily. Our brain will connect this routine with the end of the working day and the beginning of our personal time.

Dividing the working place

The saying goes "out of sight, out of mind" and that's exactly what we want. During free time, we must forget that our office is at home.

Of course, having a separate room that doubles as an office makes things much easier. Thus, closing the office door will be part of our end-of-work routine. By avoiding eye contact with the objects we associate with work, we help our mind relax and enjoy our free time.

If we don't have this capability, there are several clever ways to “lock” the job to a predetermined point. We put the computer in a drawer or create a beautiful partition that hides our desk.

Digital detox

As work at home is mainly done on a computer, laptop, tablet or even mobile, we need to schedule time away from all digital devices.

New technologies can be incredibly helpful, but never before has it been so easy for work to intrude on our free time. Continuous sounds on the mobile phone are, for example, perfect for distracting us and pulling us back to work. Many people don’t even stop in bed, just before sleep!

Especially on holidays, we should try to spend several hours away from any type of screen. Our mind will thus calm down and our ability to pay attention and concentrate on whatever we choose to do will increase.

However, it’s clear that working from home has many advantages to offer in our lives. But in order to feel the positive effects of this process, we need to limit and optimize the way we approach work. Balance above all!