Working from home can be a great way to cut down your business expenses, but it can be difficult to separate your home and work life when it is all done in one place. It is essential that you find this separation, however, because otherwise you will never be able to mentally relax and recover from work, which can quickly lead to burn out. Whether you have a home office in a separate room or you have to use an area of another room, you want to be sure that you set some boundaries for yourself to allow you to live a balanced life of home and work.
Separate Your Office Space
The best thing would be if you have a room that you can close off to the rest of the home. This is the ideal situation, as you can teach your mind that this room is for work and once you come out of that room, you are ready to take care of the home and family. Unfortunately, however, not everyone has a spare room to dedicate solely to a home office and this is where they have to be a little imaginative.
- Do you have a walk in closet?
- How about turning it into an office?
- Have a quiet corner in the basement?
- Can you use the end of a hall?
- Is your sunroom winterized?
These are some ideas that you can consider to see if you can come up with a space that you can take over. If all else fails, you may have to create a home office space in another room. Following are some tips to make it as work and home friendly as possible.
Creating Your Own Space
In my home, it is just not possible to have an entire room, unless I squeeze kids together into a very small room. This is when I had to think creatively about the space that I do have. Our home is very small, but I managed to find a corner in our living room that I could use. A choose a computer armoire, which allows me to close off the area when it is not in use and it also helps to signal that I am through with work for the day. This works quite well 90% of the time-until the kids are on summer vacation or other vacations from school.
Due to the fact that I cannot quit working during the summer, I had to come up with a way that I could have some quiet during the day to get my work done. I get up earlier than the kids do, which gives me at least two hours before they get up and I have set my morning work hours as 7-12. This allows my kids some boundaries as they know that they need to stay in their rooms (except to come out and get breakfast) and watch television. We all eat lunch together at 12 and this is when we go to the pool, watch movies, etc. I then work from 8-11 at night after they go to their bedrooms. While this is not my ideal work hours, it does work for the summer vacation.
The key for me is setting boundaries that the kids understand. They know that when I am sitting at the desk that I am working. While this does not keep them from asking me questions sometimes, it does make them hesitate to make sure I am not on the phone or in the middle of writing.
Being able to separate your work from your home life is one of the most difficult things to achieve, but if you work within your own needs and wants, you will be able to find that separation to give you balance. Working from home can be a great experience, but if you are not able to find that separation, it can be a difficult transition. That is why you want to be sure that you consider your space, your family, and your needs.