Working from Home: Setting Boundaries with Your Employer
Working from home is a dream for many employees. The freedom of coming and going as you please, the ability to listen to your own music or podcast, and the chance to spend more time with friends or family are all benefits of telecommuting. However, working from home can also present challenges. Working from home also has its drawbacks. It’s harder to stay focused without coworkers or supervisors to keep you on task, and it’s easy to get distracted by personal errands or household chores. You don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder and calling you out on bad habits, like staying at your desk after 5 p.m. for the third day in a row playing Candy Crush instead of getting work done.
Communicate with Your Boss
When you first start working from home, set a timeline for how long you’ll stay in the new arrangement. This will give both you and your boss a sense of direction and structure. If you decide to move from working from home to an office, you can follow the same timeline again to give yourself and your boss a heads up. If you’re an entrepreneur and work from home, this is even more important. Your employees are depending on you to set boundaries and stay productive. You also have to communicate to yourself how important it is to maintain a healthy work-life balance. You can’t get sucked into the trap of staying at your desk until 2 a.m. every night because you’re worried about getting behind. Remember that your employees depend on you to set a good example.
Set a Morning Ritual
Working from home can be very isolating, and you can easily go from being productive to being stuck in a rut. Setting up a morning ritual can help you stay focused and upbeat as you start your day. It can also be a good way to connect with friends or family who also work from home. For example, you could set up a conference call with a few people who also work from home and have a daily morning ritual. This can help you all stay connected and on track with your work. If you work from home, you’re probably more comfortable in pajamas than a suit and tie. But keep in mind that your boss and colleagues are still judging your work, not your outfit. So even though you may be more productive in a pair of pajamas, it’s still important to have a professional mindset. If you need to, set a reminder to go put on a clean outfit when you start to get completely focused on your work.
Stay Clear of the Office Part-Time
Working from home is a lot different than working in the office. You may want to keep office hours, or set up a schedule where you work during certain parts of the day. This is an important way to stay focused and keep yourself on track. If you work from home, you also can’t be the person who goes to the office every afternoon for happy hour with your co-workers. You’re still an employee with a set number of hours to get your work done, and you should never put in more than that. Don’t be that person who frequently goes to the office to “get away from distractions.” It’s important to recognize that the distractions you’re escaping from may be inherent to the work you need to get done. If you’re getting distracted by other things, you need to re-evaluate your work habits and make some changes.
Find a Workplace Buddy
Find a friend who also works from home and is in a similar field. This can be a great way to help each other stay accountable and motivated. You can also use each other as sounding boards when you’re feeling unsure about a project or are stuck on a problem you’re trying to solve. Working from home can be isolating, but it’s important to remember that you have other people in your network. You just don’t have the same co-workers as before. Make sure to stay in touch with your friends who aren’t working from home so you can maintain your social support network. If you work from home, you may want to cut down on your outings with friends. But you also don’t want to shut yourself off from the world and lose touch with your social support network.
Take Breaks and Exercise
Working from home can be mentally and physically exhausting. You have to fight against the urge to become a hermit and push yourself to get out and meet with friends or take part in group activities. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day and carve out time to exercise. It’s important to keep your body healthy and your mind sharp. You can’t be as productive if you’re exhausted or sick. Working from home can be amazing, but it is important to remember that it is different from an office job.
Follow these tips to help make sure that you are staying productive and not missing out on any opportunities because of working from home.